From Sacramento County Supervisor Sue Frost
If you read the SacBee this morning, you may have read an editorial by columnist Marcos Bretón which criticized me for voting against a resolution declaring racism as a public health emergency.
I do not deny that our country has a troubled past in which discrimination based on a person’s skin color was not only the norm but the law. However, I also acknowledge that we have grown past such flagrant discrimination as a society and a country, and we have advanced to a much better place.
I do think that as a government, we can do better to serve communities of color. I also think we can do that by just being better at governing. To me, a crisis is something that comes at us fast and requires an aggressive and immediate solution. That is not what the resolution was asking for, though.
The resolution asked for long-term work to address policies and programs in the County that create a disparity in service level provided to communities of color. The resolution also stated that addressing any disparities was a priority. Time and money would be dedicated to finding solutions. An important question naturally becomes, what money? The County is continuously making and planning more budget cuts, and we have no reserves to speak of. To me, the resolution was a thinly veiled attempt to yet again reduce funding to law enforcement. As many people are aware, reducing funding to law enforcement is not something I and most of my constituents support.
I think we have work to do as a County. I think that work should have started long before this week. We can sit around for hours declaring crises for various groups because we know disparities exist in many forms. But I think we have the ability, without shifting priorities and diverting resources, to identify and rectify any policy and program found to result in discrimination. I also believe we have a duty to do so. We do not need a resolution to tell us to do better. We just need to get to work.
Thank you for your time!
Sacramento County Supervisor, District 4