June 17, 2020
After a powerful, 5-hour community meeting on June 15, with over 200 participants, on the topic of Black Lives Matter, the City Council will consider at their next meeting in July the adoption of a Resolution stating that Black Lives Matter, that racial equity is a matter of local importance, and committing to the development of a plan towards creating a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming community for people of all racial and socioeconomic backgrounds, including those who live, work, attend school, and visit Mill Valley.
“I believe in my heart that Black Lives Matter, and I am committed to doing the anti-racism and justice work that is so needed in our community,” Mayor Sashi McEntee said. “This Council is committed to doing this work alongside me. Each of us are listening to the community.”
The Resolution reiterates the City Council’s condemnation of the death of George Floyd and others by law enforcement officers and unequivocally rejects racism and police violence in Mill Valley. It asserts that the issue of racial inequity and injustice is a matter of immediate local importance, and that the Council fully supports the recent peaceful protests in Mill Valley.
The Council called for community members to participate in the process moving forward.
“We are asking the community to share experiences and ideas to help us to make meaningful change towards ending systemic racism and injustice in our community,” Acting City Manager and Chief of Police Alan Piombo said. “I want to thank community members for their outpouring of constructive and thoughtful comments.”
“I have already directed our Department Heads to start conducting internal reviews of our current programs and policies,” he continued. He shared that he intends to start by bringing forward a review of Police Department policies, training, and data as it relates to the suggested #8CANTWAIT (https://8cantwait.org/) campaign.
Council also unanimously supported the establishment of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force to review and develop additional actions, investigate best practices, and make specific recommendations to Council for next steps around racial equity and inclusiveness. Details about participation in the Task Force will be forthcoming shortly.
Along with a review of City programs and services, Council encouraged the task force to partner with other agencies such as Marin City, County of Marin, the local school districts, Chamber of Commerce, and local non-profits.
“Tonight is just a beginning. We want Mill Valley to be an example to cities everywhere - an inclusive community that warmly welcomes people of all races and socioeconomic backgrounds,” Mayor McEntee said. “We will take the action necessary to realize this moral vision.”