Cuyahoga County Council passed legislation July 7 declaring racism a public health crisis.

County Executive Armond Budish also introduced the nominations for the citizens advisory council on equity, including Rabbi Joshua Caruso of Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple in Beachwood.

The council will be tasked with reviewing and providing recommendations to reduce the disparity between Black and white people when it comes to health care, criminal justice, educational opportunities and other issues.

“This group is made up of so many incredible leaders that have worked tirelessly in their respective communities to create change and foster growth in new and innovative ways,” Budish said in a news release. “Members of this board will influence decisions that shape the quality of life for our residents, and I am excited to see the great work the council on equity will do for Cuyahoga County.” Budish’s nominations to the council are:

Rabbi Joshua Caruso, Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple; Stephen Caviness, director of project management, Team NEO; Kenneth W. Chalker, retired senior pastor, University Circle United Methodist Church; Jenice Contreras, executive director, Northeast Ohio Hispanic Center for Economic Development; Habeebah Rasheed Grimes, CEO, Positive Education Program; Dr. Heidi Gullett, medical director, Cuyahoga County Board of Health; Phyllis “Seven” Harris, executive director, LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland; Randell McShepard, vice president, chief talent officer, RPM International Inc.; Marcia A. Mockabee, president and CEO, Urban League of Greater Cleveland; India Pierce Lee, senior vice president, program, Cleveland Foundation; Victor Ruiz, executive director, Esperanza, Inc.; Cordell E. Stokes, chairman/CEO for CLC Stokes Consulting Group LLC; Danielle Sydnor, president, Cleveland branch of NAACP; Eddie Taylor Jr., president, Taylor Oswald, LLC; and Sheila Wright, executive vice president of community engagement, The Good Community Foundation.

Appointments to the council are subject to approval by Cuyahoga County Council. The council will provide a status report no later than Dec. 31. The county will implement policy changes in response to the findings or recommendations from the council, according to the release.

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