Residents, Lawmakers Discuss Black Health Disparities in California During Town Hall Meeting
About 100 residents and community leaders on Saturday attended a town hall meeting in Rialto, Calif., to discuss health disparities and other issues affecting blacks in California, the San Bernardino County Sun reports.
The meeting highlighted data in a January report from the California Black Legislative Caucus that outlines "huge disparities" between blacks and whites in terms of infant mortality, income, housing, education and other factors, the Sun reports. The report, for instance, said that 11.6 black infants out of every 1,000 live births die, a rate two times higher than that of whites, Asians or Hispanics.
The Sun reports that while "there was some disagreement over the report's presentation and the means by which the inequities -- particularly in health care -- should be addressed, leaders hailed the report as an impetus for more than a dozen bills currently winding through the state Senate and Assembly."
State Sen. Mark Ridley-Thomas (D) said, "Had it not been for the State of Black California (report), the focus would not be in place."
A.J. Rogers, a professor of surgery at the University of California, said that elected officials have turned a "blind eye" to black Californians' health for too long (Rogers, San Bernardino County Sun, 5/20).
The "State of Black California" report is available online. Note: You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the report.