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Plan to address race as public health issue moving forward – Post Bulletin


ROCHESTER — Olmsted County commissioners will receive an update Tuesday on plans to tackle 42 recommendations for addressing

race and racism as a public health issue

.

The recommendations are part of

a report

accepted by county commissioners in October, and plans call for much of the work to be done by county staff under the direction of commissioners.

With four new commissioners elected since the report was received, County Administrator Heidi Welsch said earlier this month that work on the recommendations is expected to continue throughout 2023.

Olmsted County Management Analyst Leigh Durbahn recently told members of the local Housing Alliance that the plan also calls for continued engagement of community members.

“We have a lot of internal staff that will be working on various elements of this, but we also have a lot of external community partners and community members who were involved in this from the very beginning and we want to keep them informed and updated,” she said.

She said one of the recommendations — the creation of an accountability advisory board — is already in the works, with plans to coordinate the effort with an existing effort to start a community council to work with county diversity, equity and inclusivity efforts.

In addition to proposals to increase connections with the Black, Indigenous and people of color community, the 42 recommendations being considered include seeking ways to overcome barriers related to housing and criminal justice, as well as providing pathways out of poverty.

Durbahn said county staff is working to prioritize how individual recommendations are addressed, based on need and resources.

During the county commissioners meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, commissioners are expected to review a proposed approach to beginning some of the work.

Among issues to be discussed are how individual efforts and initiatives will be split between the commissioners’ committees for oversight as work continues.

The meeting held in board chambers of the city-county Government Center is also the commissioners’ first monthly evening meeting since they opted to revise their schedule.

Meetings scheduled to be held during the week of Jan. 16 include:

Rochester

  • Park Board, 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in room 320 of City Hall, 201 Fourth St. SE.
  • Library Board, 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in meeting room C of the Rochester Public Library, 101 Second St. SE.

Olmsted County

  • Administrative Committee, 1 p.m. Tuesday in board chambers of the city-county Government Center, 151 Fourth St. SE.
  • Physical Development Committee, 2:15 p.m. Tuesday in conference room 2 of the Government Center.
  • Health, Housing and Human Services Committee, 2:15 p.m. Tuesday in conference room 1 of the city-county Government Center.
  • Housing and Redevelopment Authority, 4 p.m. Tuesday in board chambers of the Government Center.
  • Board of County Commissioners, 6 p.m. Tuesday in the board chambers of the Government Center.
  • Planning Advisory Commission, 6:30 p.m Thursday in board chambers of the Government Center.

Rochester Public Schools

  • School Board, 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the boardroom of the Edison Building, 615 Seventh St. SW.





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