October 19, 2020 – Ulmer & Berne LLP is proud to announce that attorney Andrea Stone was recently appointed by the city of Twinsburg, Ohio, to serve on a Special Review Committee regarding the city’s declaration of racism as a public health crisis.
In response to public health studies that show a correlation between systemic racism and racial health disparities in the United States, several communities across the country have adopted resolutions declaring racism as a public health crisis, particularly in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and nationwide protests against racial inequality.
The Twinsburg City Council first enacted the resolution creating the Special Review Committee in June and sought seven Twinsburg residents to serve in the group along with three City Council members, the mayor, the law director, and two members of the Twinsburg Police Department. Stone, along with the other resident-committee members, will serve on the committee from November 1, 2020 to March 31, 2022.
In establishing the Special Review Committee, which will determine how to best promote racial equity in the city, the Twinsburg City Council noted that racism “causes disproportionately high rates of homelessness, incarceration, poor and unequal education, negative health outcomes and economic hardship for people of color” and that the Council “recognizes that racism is a public health crisis that affects all members of our society, both on a local level and nationwide, and deserves action from all levels of government and civil society.”
The Special Review Committee will seek solutions to reshape public discourse and actively engage all citizens, city employees, and public officials in racial justice work; work to build alliances with organizations confronting racism and encourage partners to recognize racism as a public health crisis; promote racially equitable economic and workforce development in Twinsburg; continue to promote racially equitable hiring and promotion of all positions of employment within the city’s workforce; and review existing city policies and recommend changes designed to promote racial equality.
Stone focuses her practice on school law, representing public boards of education on a wide range of matters including but not limited to employee disciplinary concerns and contract issues, collective bargaining agreements, residency and custody disputes, public records requests and associated matters, and discrimination concerns. She has extensive experience providing training for administrators and staff on these issues with a particular focus on special education and student-related disciplinary matters. She also represents school districts before the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and the Ohio Department of Education as well as in all related litigation.