Mayor proposes initiative to improve health in Black community

The mayor said he will propose spending $1 million on a new initiative to improve health disparities in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths experienced by the Black community.

The money, which will come from coronavirus funds the city received from the state, will be used in part to train community leaders, empower nonprofits or community groups and measures to improve the health of Black residents.

Data from the city shows that Black residents account for about 12% of the city’s population, yet account for 16% of hospitalizations and 22% of all deaths.

“That is something that we have called unacceptable and tragic, and something that has to change,” Mayor Robert Garcia said at a Monday media briefing.

Garcia also proposed spending $1 million to help community groups across the city that are assisting residents with economic, health and other needs.

More details about how the funds will be used are expected in coming days. Both would require approval from the City Council.

Long Beach secured $40.5 million from the state to be used for coronavirus response and relief efforts, and expects an additional $13 million from the county.

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