Only on 4: Midvale City to declare racism a public health crisis

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MIDVALE, Utah (ABC4 News)- The City of Midvale is set to introduce a racism proclamation on Tuesday at its council meeting.

“At our council meeting, we have a proclamation that we’re going to introduce that states racism, not only here in Midvale, but in the state of Utah, and in the country in general is the number one public health crisis,” said Councilman Dustin Gettel.

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The proclamation’s opening paragraph states, “Most of the Black experience in America has been endured under slavery and Jim Crow which allowed preferential opportunities for White Americans while subjecting people of color to hardships, disadvantages, and violence.”

Gettel says the council hopes this will be a step in the right direction towards making the city welcoming for everyone.

“It’s going to speak to our community here in Midvale,” he said. “Some of whom, I’ve mentioned at previous council meetings are hurt. This is a time, where black and brown citizens of Utah are hurting because of what’s happening nationwide.”‘

Previously, Gettel expressed concerns over the display of the Confederate flag in the city’s Harvest Days Parade. That was back in 2018. He says it took a year before the situation was resolved.

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“A lot of people spoke up about it that they didn’t want to see this in Midvale, but they kind of felt defeated,” said Gettel. “Like they voiced these concerns before and nothing was ever done.”

Gettel says he is sympathetic to free speech concerns.

“There’s a process if you want to show up and protest in some way, you have the absolute right to do that,” said Gettel. “My contention was we don’t have to allow you into our city parade.”

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For this report, ABC4 did reach out to the Sons of Confederate Veterans Utah Division for comment, but was refused one.

Nicole Neuman
Nicole Neuman comes to ABC4 Utah from Nexstar sister station WNCT in Greenville, N.C. where she worked as a reporter and fill-in anchor. During her time at WNCT, Nicole reported on several impactful stories.

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