The Equity Task Force on Monday will ask the Klamath Falls City Council to support a resolution that would declare racial and economic inequality a public health crisis in Klamath Falls.

A council meeting will be held in person at city hall at 7 p.m. on Monday, but the audience will be limited to nine individuals. The meeting will also be available to view online via Zoom. There will be an opportunity for public comment.

Emma Marris, a task force member, said she believes it’s a good time to ask for council to create and support such a resolution, considering that the city is in the midst of visioning for its future.

“We’d like to really make Klamath Falls a community where everyone feels safe and welcomed and everyone’s got opportunity, and how do we get there?” Marris said. “It seems clear to us that the first step is admitting that there was a problem ... and committing to working on it.”

Task force member Joey Gentry, a member of the Klamath Tribes, spurred the idea for the resolution during the task force meeting Thursday.

“It seems like both an easy first step and a giant first step,” Gentry said. “We need for our city council and our city to acknowledge that we have a problem, and so this just seems like a starting off point for us.”

Gentry said the resolution is primarily to address racism.

“Also economic inequity and opening the door for us to actually implement policy and action items,” she said.

Gentry said task force members discussed simply having council issue a statement on the topic but decided to request a resolution be made instead.

“We are planning to further lay out steps that we are going to suggest on how to address this public health crisis,” Gentry said. “We want our community to be involved.”

Gentry emphasized that the declaration is part of an effort to help the community thrive.

Gentry said task force members are aware that consideration of the resolution could result in a longer process if council decides to discuss the concept further.

The next equity task force meeting will be at 5:30 p.m., on Wednesday, Oct. 28.

To view the full meeting agenda, visit www.klamathfalls.city.