The Board of Supervisors this week passed a motion that instructs the county’s director of Arts and Culture and the director of Public Health to work with the public and develop ideas for a memorial honoring county residents who have died due to COVID-19.
The motion by Supervisor Hilda Solis calls for a report back in six months with ideas for honoring those who have died because of COVID-19, as well as the projected costs and timeframe of the suggestions.
Solis wrote in her motion that the county should utilize the arts to create a memorial in a way that’s open, accessible and positively impacts the mental and physical health of all communities to “allow Angelenos to express their grief and to heal.”
According to the Public Health department, more than 33,500 people have died because of COVID-19 in the county since the beginning of the pandemic.
“Each of these lives represented much more than a statistic,” the motion states.
“Though this pandemic impacted everyone, it didn’t affect everyone equally,” according to the motion. “Low-income communities of color have taken the brunt of the health and economic consequences. Throughout this pandemic, Latinx and Black residents have been the most likely to contract and ultimately pass away from this virus and its variants.
“Cumulatively, the case and death rates among Black residents are 1.2 and 1.7 times higher, respectively, than case and death rates among White residents. Disparities are even larger for Latinx residents, with their case and death rates 1.7 and 2.5 times higher, respectively, than among White residents.”
The motion notes that vaccines and other therapeutics have helped lessen the impacts of the virus.
“However, it is important to remember and memorialize those residents we have lost, especially by utilizing the healing medium of the arts,” according to the motion.