City seeks applicants for diversity, equity and inclusion group
Applications are now open for a new city of Estacada committee focused on equity.
The Estacada City Council approved the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee (DEIC) committee during a meeting on Monday, Oct. 26, after previously considering it on Sept. 28 and Oct. 12. The idea for the committee came about during the City Council's Aug. 3, 2020, workshop after a listening session focused on racial equity. The workshop occurred after two marches against racism in Estacada, during which multiple community members shared their experiences with injustice.
The DEIC will advise city officials and staff in advancing equity as a central component of public processes and decision-making; assisting with outreach to historically underrepresented groups such as LGBTQ+, BIPOC, Hispanic and Latinx communities, youths aged 18-25, people with disabilities and those with limited English proficiency; and providing oversight and opportunities for city leaders to have greater accountability to the community on racial equity, inclusion and diversity initiatives. Committee members will also be responsible for advising the city in developing a strategic plan to advance diversity, equity and inclusion among Estacada's government and communities; evaluating the city's progress on equity-related goals, objectives and action plans; and reviewing established policies and procedures with an equity lens.
Estacada City Planner Taylor Campi, one of the staff liaisons to the committee, said committee members will likely spend their first six months reviewing city policies to ensure they are equitable and provide quarterly updates to the City Council.
"The idea, at its core, is making sure that the systems we have in place are not disproportionately disadvantaging anyone because they're a member of a (certain) group," she said, adding that one of the committee's roles will be to find any blind spots in city policies. "When you don't have representatives from certain groups, there's inevitably going to be blind spots. We're going to intentionally take a magnifying glass to things that are likely to be blind spots or things that have been overlooked in the past."
The group will consist of seven members appointed on a rolling basis until all positions are filled. City Councilors will make the first appointments on Monday, March 8, and Campi encouraged anyone who wishes to have their application considered during that meeting to submit it by Monday, March 1.
Within the first day of the application opening, four people had submitted requests to join the committee.
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