People of color don’t want resolutions from city council

In response to the June 9 city council meeting regarding the Race Equity resolution: do more.

The majority white council comfortably resorts to platitudes when it comes to equity, but let’s be clear: they do not do the work. I spent a year and a half on the Race Equity Task Force (RETF) and saw time and time again white leaders deny that they have anything to learn about racial equity and refuse to actually educate themselves on how to center decisions on equity.

The onus to make change cannot just be on the RETF. A committee has limited power and impact to change the hearts and minds of city government. The city itself must commit to educating itself on structural racism and listen to the advice and guidance from the RETF. Change will only happen with true partnership. I implore the council to:

  • Execute in full fidelity the comprehensive race equity training plan crafted by the RETF and passed unanimously by the council in Dec 2019;
  • Require that the city council, city manager, and other city leaders attend the full course of training; and
  • Enlist an independent agency to audit city policies for implicit bias.

The time for resolutions and platitudes has passed. We demand immediate action from our government.

Janna Chan

Bainbridge Island

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