Updated: Jan 19, 2022
How It Came To Be
Back in June, Councilmember Mai Vang requested racial equity training and capacity building for Councilmembers together in a workshop setting. Per usual, Mayor Darrell Steinberg had to put his stank on the request by stating “it should be a focused workshop that brings Council together in a facilitated way.”
The Racial Equity Ad Hoc was first announced during Council comments by the Mayor at the August 24, 2021 meeting “to provide a space for Council to coordinate multiple Council comments and requests regarding racial equity training, tools and capacity building for the City to develop a racial equity lens for decision making.” Councilmembers Schenirer, Guerra, and Vang would also make up the committee.
In September, Councilmember Vang highlighted the main responsibilities for this racial equity ad hoc committee:
1) bring a racial equity workshop to full Council
2) work closely with Race Forward and community in development of racial equity resolution and lens/tool for City decision making
3) ask for racial equity lens/tool or other metrics be used for America
Rescue Plan (ARP) Framework and Funding Priorities. And the Mayor asked for the Racial Equity Ad Hoc Committee to meet with City staff to develop a temporary racial equity lens/tool for ARP Framework and Funding Priorities.
And of course Steinberg nominated himself to be the committee’s chair. Thankfully, Councilwoman Mai Vang was selected as this committee’s Vice-Chair at its first meeting on October 6, 2021.
Three weeks after its first meeting, the Racial Equity Ad Hoc Committee held its second meeting on October 26, 2021 where Agenda Items included adopting the practice of a Land Acknowledgement statement at the beginning of meetings and to adopt the utilization of a racial equity response tool for evaluating the distribution of American Rescue Plan funds.
The Racial Equity Ad Hoc Committee began with hearing an item to ad