DEI Initiatives Update - March 1, 2021

March 1, 2021

The City of Mill Valley commits to act and encourage community action towards eliminating racial disparities, both inside government and in the community. The City Council has identified Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives as their top priority, and staff provides regular updates to the City Council and community at each City Council meeting.

This information will be shared tonight at the City Council meeting during the City Manager's Report. Participate.

City Council 
City Council members Ossa and Carmel participated in the recent “5 for 5” Speakers Series hosted by Heart of the Village. Speakers included Paul Austin of Play Marin, Lisa Bennet of SURJ Marin, Laura McDonnell of the Next Steps Liaison Project, and Halicue Hanna from Heart of the Village. It was a well attended event and a great opportunity to meet DEI leaders from different Southern Marin towns, to learn about the impactful initiatives they’re working on, and find out how to connect and support these efforts. We will share info about the next event once it is announced.

The Library invites you to join them and the Marin Poetry Center for a “Poetry Reading Series” featuring Crystal Williams & Yona Harvey. The event will take place on Thursday, March 18, 2021 - 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM. This Poetry Reading Series provides a unique opportunity to hear diverse and unusual sets of readers, in this case pairing long-time friends who rarely have the opportunity to appear together. Registration information is available on the Library homepage or click here.

At their last meeting on February 18, the City Council approved the City’s DEI Work Plan and requested a comprehensive department report on the Police-related items within the next 60 days. Staff anticipates that the report will be reviewed at the April 19 City Council meeting. Police Chief Navarro has reached out to the Law Enforcement Subcommittee members of the former DEI Task Force to seek their input. 

Economic Initiatives
Also related to the Work Plan, City staff will meet this week with the Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce to move forward with the Council-approved recommendations to explore financial mentoring programs and grants/financial assistance to support BIPOC business and entrepreneurs in Mill Valley.

Parks and Recreation Commission 
The Parks and Recreation Commission is holding their monthly meeting this week, on March 3, where they will consider the 2021 annual Old Mill Park use requests for non-profit athletic events. This year, the 5 organizations requesting to use Old Mill Park will have a provision to work with Mill Valley Recreation and the City of Mill Valley Parks & Recreation Commission to promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. 

The Commission will also consider the use request for Old Mill Park by Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival for the 64th Annual Fall Arts Festival. In their application, Festival organizers stated, “We support the city’s 6/15 statement of diversity, equity and inclusion by offering free entry to educators and youth and discounts to seniors, providing access to those that often have limited income.” The Fall Arts Festival will also have a provision to work with Mill Valley Recreation and the City of Mill Valley Parks & Recreation Commission to promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. 

Also on the Agenda is an update on other DEI-related initiatives.

Call for Applications 
At their meeting on June 15, Council reviewed suggested ideas for City action to address racial inequities in the community. A recommendation listed in the Staff Report included: "Create pathways to civic engagement that make it clear BIPOC are welcome to participate and lead in local government."

We want to encourage civic engagement in our local community and government and have a few openings to announce.

Mill Valley:

  • Arts Commission - Applications are being accepted for the Arts Commission, which promotes visual and performing arts through events in Mill Valley. Deadline is March 12. Learn more.

In Marin:

  • LAFCo - As mentioned by Mayor McEntee at the last City Council meeting - there is an opening to serve in the Alternate Public Seat on the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) Alternate Public Seat - The Commission, has regulatory power over the formation and boundary changes of cities and special districts. Deadline is March 31. Learn more.
  • TDRB - There is an open seat on the Tamalpais Design Review Board. This board serves as an advisory and resource body for land use and zoning applications in some unincorporated neighborhoods of southern Marin County. Learn more.

Learn more:


The City of Mill Valley promotes City-produced and independently-produced events and activities that inspire action towards eliminating racial disparities, both inside government and in the community. If you have an event you would like to add to this list, please email us at dei@cityofmillvalley.orgLearn more about the City of Mill Valley's Diversity, Inclusion and Equity initiatives here.