The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated already poor health disparities and disportionately impacted minorities. Despite making up about 23 percent of Louisville’s population, African-Americans account for about 33 percent of our confirmed cases and deaths. Members of our marginalized populations also are more likely to work jobs that were deemed essential and to be employed in public-facing occupations, putting them at high risk.
The inequities of today have their roots in racist elements of our history that pervaded society from education through segregation to banking and housing. As we work to recover from the pandemic and listen to calls for racial justice, we have to replace our current systems with one that work better and are more equitably, both in terms of health and safety.
The work will be built on the foundation already established in existing plans, including Vision Louisville, Plan 2040, Resilient Louisville, Prepare Louisville, Move Louisville, Healthy Louisville 2025, One Love Louisville, and the Health Equity Report.
The Health and Safety Focus Area Team will consider:
- How do we build more inclusive and equitable systems that promote healthier populations and reduce crime?
- What cultural barriers do we need to overcome to resolve health equities?
- How do we effectively ensure young voices are heard?
- What emergency operational changes were made to address homelessness during the pandemic, and what needs to become permanent part of operations, impact to funding and service offering?
- How do we best serve those who were unable to pay their rent because of job loss, and how does that impact health inequities?
- What contributing factors and underlying systemic issues result in a spike in violent crime?
- Did the release of nonviolent offenders have an impact?
- What recommendations would we make to the courts system, corrections, the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, Public Defenders’ Office, and probation/parole?
- What legislative actions would be helpful?
- How did Louisville’s public safety agencies weather the crisis? What weaknesses were identified?
Metrics may include crime statistics by type/location/offender/victim and any correlations with business closure; unemployment claims; current metrics from Healthy Louisville 2025, APCD and the Homelessness Task Force; 211 and 311 data; Louisville Metro and JCPS meal distribution; volume and types of police, EMS, and fire runs; police contact/engagement statistics; and refusals to go to hospital or seek medical care.