Last week, my office released a Racial Equity Report for Ulster County. It reflects the lived experiences of our Black and brown neighbors, friends, business owners, local workers, and kids. And it tells us that Ulster County can and must address inequities that have created a daunting burden on Black and brown individuals and families in Ulster County, constraining opportunities, and harming our entire County.

I directed my office to undertake this study and create this report in order to inform residents who may not be aware of the challenges and barriers that Black and brown communities face in Ulster, and to inform policy makers so that we may remedy these inequities and implement real, substantive change. Being honest about where we are currently is the only way we can productively move forward.

I want to be clear that these inequities have the greatest impact on Black and brown people in Ulster, but they also hurt all of us by holding back the potential of entire segments of our County. The responsibility to dismantle the systemic causes of institutional racism belongs to all of us, and when we have greater equity, we will all benefit.

I am very grateful to our advisory board for their guidance and input on this study: Ethan Barnett, Manuel Blas, Freddie Garcia, Kwame Holmes, Callie Jayne, Rachel Marco-Havens, Gregory McCullough, KT Tobin, Rashida Tyler, and Angela Urbina-Medina.

– March