Mayor Mike Purzycki, City Council President Hanifa Shabazz and Councilman Chris Johnson will Work with Community Leaders to Address the Coronavirus Pandemic

April 17, 2020

WILMINGTON- Wilmington City Council will be working with the Administration, community, and nonprofit leaders to coordinate efforts related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

City government leadership will work in tandem with the Wilmington COVID 19 Community Mobilization Group (C19CMG), a consortium of community-based organizations that is collaborating under the leadership of the Wilmington Community Advisory Committee (WCAC). WCAC was formed in 2015 by Council President Shabazz to address issues related to gun violence and is now partnering with state and local leaders to squarely focus its efforts on the response to COVID-19.

The Community Mobilization Group’s goal will be to increase the dissemination of education and informational resources to the residents of the city with an emphasis on outreach to Wilmington’s underserved population. Communities of color, seniors and other high-risk populations have a greater chance of being diagnosed with and losing their lives from COVID-19. This adds to the urgency of both branches of local government working collaboratively with partners such as C19CMG to make certain information and resources are shared as directly and as clearly as possible in every area of our City especially the African American and Latino communities.

A smaller informal working group comprised of Council and Administration leadership and community leaders will also discuss legislative and budget priorities related to the COVID-19 crisis and make recommendations to C19CMG, the Administration and the Council on ways to effectively address issues as they arise.

“We need more input from people in the community who know how to get information and resources into the hands of people in our neighborhoods and especially for people who do not have access to information technology,” said Mayor Purzycki. “Now, more than ever before, there is a critical need to communicate with people one-on-one and do it safely, quickly and efficiently.”

“Whether it’s information about COVID 19 assessment and testing sites, or how to obtain masks and gloves,  or details of food giveaway events, we know there are people in our neighborhoods who are not aware of this information and it’s our duty to get this information to them because it can save their lives and keep their families safe,” said Council President Shabazz.

“This health crisis has shined a light on the existing inequities that prevail in our most vulnerable populations such as communities of color, seniors, the homeless, habitually unemployed or those facing substance abuse and mental health challenges,” said Councilman Chris Johnson. “We need to be directly communicating with and ensuring services get to these people who are already facing daily challenges and don’t have the luxury of sheltering in place.”

To date, C19CMG has started identifying local venders that can supply thousands of masks and will be launching a public information campaign to ensure information is flowing directly to the residents of Wilmington in real-time. Mayor Purzycki and Council President Shabazz look forward to working closely with these local leaders as well as to Wilmington’s continued work with Federal, State and County officials to address this crisis.

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