California Pan-Ethnic Health Network
For Immediate Release
March 9, 2021
Contact: Monika Lee (858) 353-7271
Sacramento, CA – The California Pan-Ethnic Health Network released the following statement in response to Governor Gavin Newsom’s 3rd State of the State address.
“California is turning the tide and working hard to vaccinate our hardest hit communities, Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and Asian American Pacific Islanders. Through listening to advocates and learning lessons, California has adapted and updated its response to be laser focused on equity.
“California’s decision to allocate 40% of its vaccines to the communities in the lowest quartile of the Healthy Places Index is the right move to address the fact wealthier communities have been vaccinated at twice the rate of the hardest hit communities. Despite making up only a quarter of our population, these communities make up 40% of our cases.
“Long before the pandemic, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian American Pacific Islander communities were and continue to be uninsured at higher rates, and face barriers to housing, education, and more due to systemic racism.
“We, along with our coalition, are asking Governor Newsom to declare racism is a public health crisis and to follow the lead of dozens of other states and counties. Any declaration must be followed by resources, funding, and policies dedicated to addressing centuries of inequity and racism baked into every aspect of our governance and society.
“Governor Newsom has navigated our state through a pandemic and recession, while also addressing homelessness and the rising rate of inequality. He has convened and listened to advocates and those closest to the pain and has guided the state’s response to center equity. As we near a safe reopening and recovery, we look forward to continuing to work with Governor Newsom to ensure no one is left behind.”