National News

City council proposes study to address institutional racism

Posted January 16, 2018 3:12 p.m. EST

— City councilman PG Sittenfeld is spearheading a new initiative to understand racial inequality in the Queen City.

Sittenfeld joined other council members and community leaders at City Hall Tuesday morning to announce a proposed study to address racial disparities in the city's internal operations and end institutional racism.

"City government can and should do more both to ensure that our own house is in order and that our policies and service deliveries are helping, never exacerbating, the challenge," Sittenfeld wrote in a memo.

Forty-three percent of Cincinnati's population is African-American, yet they lag behind on most key economic, social, education and health indicators, Sittenfeld wrote in the memo.

As examples, Sittenfeld mentioned the study could investigate property citations being given out disproportionately in the African-American community and the fact that the number of African-American firefighters is nearing a generational low.

"It's never been a one-person effort to try to address these issues," said councilman Wendell Young. "It never will be a one-person effort to address these issues, yet these are issues that must be addressed."

The next step will be identifying a partner to conduct the study and allocate a budget. Sittenfeld isn't certain how much it could cost, but said it may top $100,000.