City Council condemns racism, affirms commitment to equity
Last night, July 20, the Sandy City Council took a symbolic step forward in promoting racial equity in the community by passing a resolution to condemn racism and affirm the city's commitment to equity.
This resolution comes after months of national and local demonstrations calling for change and racial equity, as well as justice for those like Breonna Taylor and George Floyd who died earlier this year at the hands of police.
The Council was also moved to make this resolution by a nearly three-hour long listening session on racism conducted by the Council with local antiracism advocates on July 7.
To open the meeting in which the resolution was presented, Mayor Stan Pulliam asked that Council and those attending might observe a moment of silence for the late Congresssman and civil rights activist John Lewis, who passed away from pancreatic cancer on July 17.
"It's important to state our community's stance on racism and equality in a way that best represents the values we hold dear here in Sandy," Pulliam said.
The resolution recognized the persistence of not only intentional but unintentional and systemic racism and exclusion of people of color "from constructing and participating in the institutions that govern our society and the services upon which we depend to protect our health, safety, and well-being." It further recognized that the current system in our country, which allowed for the death of George Floyd and has ignited another national movement toward racial justice, is one that has to be changed and is the responsibility of the American people.
Within the resolution, the city of Sandy also made the following promises of action: According to the text, the city of Sandy will:
• "Continue to affirm our commitment to integrating equity into the fabric of our organization and the delivery of public services; in pursuit of equal, fair, and just outcomes for all."
• "Engage in cultural competency and implicit bias training for members of the City Council and city staff."
• "Work intentionally and collaboratively to eliminate racial disparities and address the long-term, systemic root causes of inequality and racial injustice."
• "Strive to foster a community connected by a shared commitment to mutual respect, understanding, and dignity."
• "Commit to protecting the civil and human rights of all Sandy community members."
• "Proactively and inclusively reach out to community members to encourage broad participation in local civic affairs, including appointed city boards and elected offices."
Sandy STAND UP Movement leader and antiracism advocate Tracy George praised the effort.
"I think that the resolution is a great start," George explained. "It will be important that the city actually follows through with everything they put inside do that resolution. We've heard the commitment and now we need to see the action. But I do thank the city for taking a stance. Better late than never. I think they are getting set up to build a strong foundation with condemning racism within the City of Sandy, and next, we build an unshakable house on top. I think we are making good progress. Small progress is good progress."
To read the full resolution, visit bit.ly/sandyresolution2020-19.
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