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Resolution RS2020-433

A resolution in support of communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

WHEREAS, the novel coronavirus or COVID-19 represents a direct threat to the health and well-being of citizens of the world and residents of Nashville; and

WHEREAS, as of June 16, 2020, COVID-19 has also spread to many residents of the United States including those who live in the state of Tennessee 30,432 and in the city of Nashville, Tennessee in Davidson County 7,345; and

WHEREAS, the United States Census estimates that in 2019, 35% of Davidson County residents self-identified as people of color and approximately 4% of Davidson County residents self-identified as individuals of Asian, Native Hawaiian, or other Pacific Islander descent; and

WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a public health crisis that has magnified societal inequities and fear-based acts of discrimination against the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) communities, immigrants, and communities of color; and

WHEREAS, a collaborative stigma guide created by the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) states that COVID-19 is associated with a high level of stigma because (1) it is a new disease surrounded by uncertainty, (2) people are often afraid of the unknown, and (3) it is easy to project fear onto communities of color; and

WHEREAS, the WHO and the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention have cautioned against using geographic descriptors in identifying COVID-19, as such language can fuel stigmatization, racial animosity and hate speech toward the API community; and

WHEREAS, fear and misinformation around the COVID-19 pandemic has led to blanket discrimination against the API community and emboldened racist sentiments in Nashville; and

WHEREAS, geographic descriptors for COVID-19 promulgate falsities that the virus was caused or spread by race or ethnicity; and

WHEREAS, during the COVID-19 pandemic, hate speech, harassment, and discrimination toward members of the API community significantly increased. Many Americans have witnessed discrimination against the API community, perpetrated due to the perceived spread of COVID-19 by and from the community; and

WHEREAS, across the United States, there has been a steep decline in business for API owned shops, restaurants, and other establishments; and

WHEREAS, the reports of harassment against the API community within the State of Tennessee include incidents where people are subjected to increased hostility in retail stores, restaurants, and pharmacies; and

WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified how existing housing, economic, and healthcare policies often have a disproportionate negative impact on communities of color; and

WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic, in Nashville and across the United States, has amplified the endemic nature of systemic and institutionalized racism which has resulted in police misconduct against the African-American community; and

WHEREAS, people of African-American descent are contracting COVID-19 at higher rates and are more likely to die as a result of the virus; and

WHEREAS, the City’s Latinx population has been disproportionately impacted by the spread of COVID-19, which has increased fears of economic and social insecurity; and

WHEREAS, COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted people of color, who are more likely to have limited access to health care and be the frontline workers in grocery stores, factories, and other essential, low-wage or hourly wage occupations.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY:

SECTION 1: That the Metropolitan County Council recognizes that, in Nashville, our thriving, diverse community spans many languages, nationalities, ethnicities, and cultures. The Council hereby goes on record as condemning all manner of racism, stigmatization, hate speech, hate crimes, islamophobia, xenophobia, discrimination and violence, which have been exposed and heightened due to COVID-19 and which are directed towards immigrants and communities of color.

SECTION 2: The Council further recognizes that the city of Nashville has a deep history and spirit of leading nonviolent, direct action campaigns to end racial segregation during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. The Council grieves for George Floyd and all the violent deaths our country has witnessed as evidence of racism and injustice that have been once again brought to light by the COVID-19 pandemic.

SECTION 3: This Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsor(s)

Thomas Cash, Kathleen Murphy, Ginny Welsch, Gloria Hausser, Jeff Syracuse, Bob Nash, Russ Bradford, Tonya Hancock, Brandon Taylor, Antoniette Lee, Freddie O'Connell, Zulfat Suara, Joy Styles, Kyonzté Toombs, Jennifer Gamble

Legislative History

Referred toRules, Confirmations, and Public Elections Committee

IntroducedJuly 7, 2020

AdoptedJuly 7, 2020

ApprovedJuly 8, 2020

ByMayor Cooper's signature

Requests for ADA accommodation should be directed to the Metropolitan Clerk at 615-862-6770.

Last Modified: 07/10/2020 2:35 PM