Will Texas Lawmakers Reinstate The State's Office To Address, Eliminate Racial Health Disparities?
The COVID-19 pandemic is hitting communities of color the hardest across Texas. The state office that could have played a pivotal role in identifying and reducing health disparities in minority communities was defunded in 2017.
Now, many advocates and experts are calling on lawmakers to reinstate and revive the office during the ongoing 2020 legislative session.
What were the previous responsibilities of this office, when it was open? What were its measures of success?
Did all efforts to tackle Texas' minority health disparities cease when the office was defunded? What are the implications of failing to understand and address these issues?
Are lawmakers likely to support efforts to bring this office back online? What would it be tasked with specifically, if reopened?
- State Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston)
- Octavio N. Martinez Jr., executive director of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health at the University of Texas at Austin
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*This interview was recorded on Tuesday, February 2.