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DEI Initiatives Update - July 9, 2020


City-wide Initiatives on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

At the Monday, June 15, 2020 Council Meeting, the City Council approved an immediate action plan to address systemic racism and injustice in Mill Valley. As part of the plan, Acting City Manager Piombo directed City Department Heads to conduct internal reviews of current City programs and policies related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Here is the latest on these efforts:

  • Police Department - The City Council will receive an update and review of Police Department policies, training and data as it relates to the suggested #8CANTWAIT campaign on August 3, 2020.

  • Arts Commission - On June 30, the Mill Valley Arts Commission reviewed the June 15, 2020 City Council community discussion regarding Black Lives Matter and discussed outcomes and Council directives to the Arts Commission to address racial injustice and inequities in Mill Valley. Staff and the Arts Commission are working to realize two projects in the short term and investigating one other larger project. Check out the Staff Report.

  • Planning and Building Department - Planning staff has conducted a preliminary internal review of current City programs and policies as they relate to addressing racial inequities in housing and development. Staff has reviewed the suggested ideas for City action discussed at the June 15, 2020 City Council meeting, shared relevant General Plan/Housing Element program(s), and provided an update on current/future possible City actions. Learn more.
  • Housing Advisory Committee - This group serves as an advisory body on matters related to the Mill Valley Housing Element and the Affordable Housing Ordinance. The Housing Advisory Committee is currently onboarding new members, and looking at potential sites for development. The next upcoming meeting is July 22, 2020 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm. Learn more.

  • Parks and Recreation Commission - On July 1, 2020 the Mill Valley Parks and Recreation Commission reviewed the June 15, 2020 City Council community discussion regarding Black Lives Matter and discussed outcomes and Council directives to the Recreation Commission to address racial injustice and inequities in Mill Valley.

    Parks and Recreation Commission Chair Moore has reached out to the Chair of the Marin City Community Services District to explore shared services or cooperative services/facilities. Parks and Recreation Commissioner Justice has recommended adding language to stipulations with Youth Sports Organizations about requiring an inclusion and anti-racism policy. Commissioners discussed the scholarship program and agreed, for future meetings, to agendize related items on a regular basis. Check out the Meeting Video (Jump to item 5).
  • Library - The History Room is reaching out to individuals, organizations, and businesses to document the history as well as present experiences of BIPOC (Black/Indigenous/People of Color) in Mill Valley. The Library is in the process of collecting information, photos, and stories, and preparing to conduct oral histories.

    The Library’s Youth Services is working on programs and partnerships for youth related to Black Lives Matter. The Department also highlights authors of color in interviews and a podcast series:  Wild About Authors8 Books.

  • Emergency Preparedness Commission - The EPC held a discussion on July 9, 2020 on diversity, equity and inclusion, which covered topics such as outreach to and inclusion of non-English speaking communities, older/younger demographics, people with disabilities, diversity on the EPC Commission and diversity in volunteer recruitment 

  • Library Board of Trusteesheld a discussion on July 9, 2020 on the Library's role regarding racism, social justice, civil rights.
     

City Council Actions 

The City Council has acted on a number of suggestions in the June 15, 2020 Staff Report to address racial injustice and inequities in Mill Valley. These include:

Update on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force

The City Council’s immediate action plan included the establishment of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force to review and develop additional actions, investigate best practices, and make specific recommendations to Council for next steps. Council immediately tasked a working group of 2 councilmembers to manage the project and on June 29, put out a call to the community for participation in the DEI Task Force.

At their July 6, 2020 meeting, the City Council received an update and discussed next steps in the formation of the DEI Task Force. City Council and staff acknowledged the community’s sense of urgency, and desire for transparency and accountability regarding the establishment of the DEI Task Force. Councilmembers reaffirmed that the formation of the DEI Task Force is a top priority. 

DEI Task Force Next Steps

  • The City working group includes Mayor McEntee, Councilmember Ossa, Acting City Manager Piombo and administrative/analyst support. The group has met 3 times since its formation and meets weekly to ensure timely progress.
  • The next critical step is the engagement of a professional facilitator. The working group has reached out to several highly qualified candidates for consideration. An ideal facilitator will have experience with managing public meetings, making room for all voices, and creating opportunities for additional public input/participation. The working group anticipates that the facilitator will advise on appropriate group size and composition, design the Task Force meetings, and create multiple methods for public participation beyond the task force members. If you have a recommendation, or thoughts about desired professional qualifications or skills, we welcome your input. Please email us at dei@cityofmillvalley.org.
  • Once the facilitator is engaged and has designed the framework, the Task Force can be appointed. In the past week, the City has received over 50 emails from community members indicating interest in participating in the DEI Task Force. We thank community members for their interest and willingness to devote their time to this important topic. 
  • Once formed, the DEI Task Force meetings will be open to the public, so there will be transparency and many additional opportunities to contribute throughout the process. The Task Force will consider all of the community suggestions received thus far in addition to ideas that develop in the course of the process.
  • The DEI Task Force will conclude its work with a set of recommended actions for the City Council to consider. The work is expected to be completed over the course of several months to allow time for consideration of the broad range of issues and concerns of the community. 

Get Involved and Learn More:

We welcome your participation. If you would like to get involved, receive updates or to find information, go to www.cityofmillvalley.org/dei