Council Vote on Housing Prompts Pushback on Racism Resolution
An Evansville City Council resolution to declare racism a public health crisis turned into an angry exchange about an earlier vote Monday to provide funding for low income housing.
The council took up the resolution just minutes after voting down a proposal to fund affordable homes through the Memorial Community Development Corporation. Over the council’s live web feed, Fifth Ward councilman Justin Elpers spoke against the resolution, saying Evansville already honors diversity.
“These people of different backgrounds and ethnicities already own businesses, they serve on important boards and they have leadership roles in our most important corporations. This evidence doesn’t support systematic racism.”
Metro Development executive director Kelly Coures quickly pointed out the earlier vote.
“You just voted no to build ten homes in three census tracts that are sixty percent African-American.”
Adrian Brooks, pastor of Memorial Baptist Church in Evansville chastised the council for the earlier vote.
“You had a great opportunity tonight to support two young, progressive African-American females who are doing positive things in our community. We sent you the best, and you sent them packing.”
The resolution passed 7-1, with councilman Elpers being the lone no vote.