News

Livermore subcommittee, working group aim to foster equity and inclusion

Four areas of focus include economics, youth, culture and policing

The Livermore City Council is working to integrate equity and inclusion into the fabric of the community through its newly formed subcommittee and subsequent working group.

Co-chaired by Mayor-elect Bob Woerner and Councilwoman Trish Munro, the Equity and Inclusion Subcommittee was created in July following civil unrest locally and nationwide after the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police on Memorial Day.

The subcommittee's objective is to "enable equity and inclusion in Livermore through diverse community engagement that will result in a welcoming city, exemplified by equity of opportunity and just treatment for all," according to the city's website.

Since the subcommittee's inception, it has expanded to include a working group made up of people who live and work in Livermore. "Bob and I are really excited about this because this is a place where local government can make a huge difference," Munro told the Weekly.

Initially, the city planned to select a total of 18 people to form the working group through an application and interview process. However, after receiving 48 applicants, the subcommittee recommended to the council that the group not be limited to a particular size so that everyone who applied could participate.

What's local journalism worth to you?

Support PleasantonWeekly.com for as little as $5/month.

Learn more

The council unanimously voted to revise the size of the working group during a regular council meeting on Sept. 14 and the first full working group meeting was held the following night.

Since then, the working group has been divided into four subgroups with specific focus areas, including Subgroup A: Community Culture and Representations, Subgroup B: Policing and Human Services, Subgroup C: Reaching and Inspiring Youth and Subgroup D: Housing, Workplace, Economic and Transportation Environments.

"By having four subgroups working concurrently, we can focus on Livermore's particular context in multiple ways," Munro said. "Each subgroup is developing different projects, from interviewing residents, to digging into (Livermore Police Department) data, to understanding housing issues."

However, she added that the pandemic has slowed the groups' progress. "Ensuring four groups can engage with each other during COVID is difficult and can feel like slogging through mud rather than hiking a dry path. Nevertheless, I'm excited to see the planned projects happen and catalyze further change."

Some of the specific project ideas the subgroups have discussed include creating affinity group dialogues geared toward youth and their parents, hosting a workshop focused on affordable housing in Livermore and conducting a communitywide assessment and action project that involves taking inventory of artwork, artifacts and other symbols throughout the city that represent and signify systemic racism as well as the symbols that signify equity and inclusion.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Sign up

Each subgroup has had between two and three meetings so far with an average of about 10 to 12 members in attendance; however, some members participate in more than one subgroup.

While each subgroup's projects are still in their early developing stages, working group members have already been involved in some decision-making as they were invited to participate in an interview panel during the city's recruitment process for a new police chief before Jeramy Young was promoted to the role.

The subgroups are also currently working on crafting their individual missions, values and goals as well as compiling resources and FAQs to make available to the public, according to city staff.

Helping the city facilitate and guide the subgroup meetings are Public Dialogue Consortium (PDC) president Shawn Spano and San Jose State University professor Robert Rucker. The subcommittee held an interview process with three consultant teams specializing in the area of equity and inclusion and community dialogue before choosing PDC.

"PDC, partnering with professor Robert Rucker, brings a wealth of facilitation experience especially assisting local governments with community engagement efforts," city officials told the Weekly in an email, adding that the organization recently assisted the city of Fremont with a similar initiative.

As the work of each subgroup is already underway, the subcommittee is not accepting working group applications at this time, but officials said there will likely be an additional opportunity for participation in the future as well as other opportunities for the broader community to engage with the subcommittee and working group.

More information about the subcommittee and each subgroup can be found here.

Craving a new voice in Peninsula dining?

Sign up for the Peninsula Foodist newsletter.

Sign up now

Follow PleasantonWeekly.com and the Pleasanton Weekly on Twitter @pleasantonnews, Facebook and on Instagram @pleasantonweekly for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Livermore subcommittee, working group aim to foster equity and inclusion

Four areas of focus include economics, youth, culture and policing

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Nov 24, 2020, 9:21 pm

The Livermore City Council is working to integrate equity and inclusion into the fabric of the community through its newly formed subcommittee and subsequent working group.

Co-chaired by Mayor-elect Bob Woerner and Councilwoman Trish Munro, the Equity and Inclusion Subcommittee was created in July following civil unrest locally and nationwide after the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police on Memorial Day.

The subcommittee's objective is to "enable equity and inclusion in Livermore through diverse community engagement that will result in a welcoming city, exemplified by equity of opportunity and just treatment for all," according to the city's website.

Since the subcommittee's inception, it has expanded to include a working group made up of people who live and work in Livermore. "Bob and I are really excited about this because this is a place where local government can make a huge difference," Munro told the Weekly.

Initially, the city planned to select a total of 18 people to form the working group through an application and interview process. However, after receiving 48 applicants, the subcommittee recommended to the council that the group not be limited to a particular size so that everyone who applied could participate.

The council unanimously voted to revise the size of the working group during a regular council meeting on Sept. 14 and the first full working group meeting was held the following night.

Since then, the working group has been divided into four subgroups with specific focus areas, including Subgroup A: Community Culture and Representations, Subgroup B: Policing and Human Services, Subgroup C: Reaching and Inspiring Youth and Subgroup D: Housing, Workplace, Economic and Transportation Environments.

"By having four subgroups working concurrently, we can focus on Livermore's particular context in multiple ways," Munro said. "Each subgroup is developing different projects, from interviewing residents, to digging into (Livermore Police Department) data, to understanding housing issues."

However, she added that the pandemic has slowed the groups' progress. "Ensuring four groups can engage with each other during COVID is difficult and can feel like slogging through mud rather than hiking a dry path. Nevertheless, I'm excited to see the planned projects happen and catalyze further change."

Some of the specific project ideas the subgroups have discussed include creating affinity group dialogues geared toward youth and their parents, hosting a workshop focused on affordable housing in Livermore and conducting a communitywide assessment and action project that involves taking inventory of artwork, artifacts and other symbols throughout the city that represent and signify systemic racism as well as the symbols that signify equity and inclusion.

Each subgroup has had between two and three meetings so far with an average of about 10 to 12 members in attendance; however, some members participate in more than one subgroup.

While each subgroup's projects are still in their early developing stages, working group members have already been involved in some decision-making as they were invited to participate in an interview panel during the city's recruitment process for a new police chief before Jeramy Young was promoted to the role.

The subgroups are also currently working on crafting their individual missions, values and goals as well as compiling resources and FAQs to make available to the public, according to city staff.

Helping the city facilitate and guide the subgroup meetings are Public Dialogue Consortium (PDC) president Shawn Spano and San Jose State University professor Robert Rucker. The subcommittee held an interview process with three consultant teams specializing in the area of equity and inclusion and community dialogue before choosing PDC.

"PDC, partnering with professor Robert Rucker, brings a wealth of facilitation experience especially assisting local governments with community engagement efforts," city officials told the Weekly in an email, adding that the organization recently assisted the city of Fremont with a similar initiative.

As the work of each subgroup is already underway, the subcommittee is not accepting working group applications at this time, but officials said there will likely be an additional opportunity for participation in the future as well as other opportunities for the broader community to engage with the subcommittee and working group.

More information about the subcommittee and each subgroup can be found here.

Comments

MichaelB
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 25, 2020 at 7:31 am
MichaelB, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Nov 25, 2020 at 7:31 am
13 people like this

"Some of the specific project ideas the subgroups have discussed include creating affinity group dialogues geared toward youth and their parents, hosting a workshop focused on affordable housing in Livermore and conducting a communitywide assessment and action project that involves taking inventory of artwork, artifacts and other symbols throughout the city that represent and signify systemic racism as well as the symbols that signify equity and inclusion."

Something else that needs to be discussed - but probably won't be. Those claiming to only want "equity and inclusion" doing what the left wing does to shut down a debate with anyone/about anything - accusing it/them of being "systemically racist". So how many artifacts and symbols in Livermore are now going to have to be torn down for purposes of so called "inclusion"?


Trish Munro
Registered user
Livermore
on Nov 25, 2020 at 1:20 pm
Trish Munro, Livermore
Registered user
on Nov 25, 2020 at 1:20 pm
6 people like this

@MichaelB,
Here in Livermore, we're working hard to take a broad approach to these issues of Equity and Inclusion. So I appreciate hearing from our neighbors in Pleasanton--we all should be able to learn from each other.
With that in mind, I'm glad of the opportunity to explain the differences between racism, systemic racism, and structural racism.

Racism is a belief that humanity is divided into a hierarchy of different groups based on inherent biological traits and abilities, with some of groups being inherently superior to others.

Structural, systemic, and institutional racism are, the adjectives imply, about the nature of our society writ large: history, laws, rules, and larger cultural assumptions that privilege particular groups. Individuals in those groups may pr may not be aware of that larger context or how it affects them either positively or negatively. Here is a short and simple video on that subject: Web Link.

A person cannot be a "systemic racist," but all of us participate in a society that privileges particular groups and discriminates against others. Doesn't matter what one's individuals beliefs or actions are--the system and society are the water we swim in.

On the other hand, a person can be a racist, although I prefer not to label people, but actions. Flying a Confederate flag, for example, is a racist act. Calling someone the n-word is a racist act. Believing that someone of another race is likely to be less [x] or more [y] is a racist belief.

I hope that helps explain a subject that many find confusing.


MichaelB
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 25, 2020 at 5:04 pm
MichaelB, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Nov 25, 2020 at 5:04 pm
17 people like this

"On the other hand, a person can be a racist, although I prefer not to label people, but actions. Flying a Confederate flag, for example, is a racist act. Calling someone the n-word is a racist act. Believing that someone of another race is likely to be less [x] or more [y] is a racist belief. "


But actions don't seem to matter anymore, do they? Just being a member of a certain race is enough to get you accused/labeled of being "prejudiced" and "privileged" - and that "justifies" our nation's institutions being torn down and rebuilt into an authoritarian society the political left wants. This is a form of controlling people and is not part of a free society.

Web Link


MichaelB
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 26, 2020 at 5:45 am
MichaelB, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Nov 26, 2020 at 5:45 am
10 people like this

"Structural, systemic, and institutional racism are, the adjectives imply, about the nature of our society writ large: history, laws, rules, and larger cultural assumptions that privilege particular groups. Individuals in those groups may pr may not be aware of that larger context or how it affects them either positively or negatively."


Some of us are indeed aware.

Web Link

"The United States is not institutionally racist. The political system, the criminal-justice system, and academe overflow with political progressives. The notion that they would tolerate racism in their institutions would be laughable if sensible people were encouraged to think about it rather than mindlessly accept it."


Doug Mann
Registered user
Livermore
on Nov 26, 2020 at 1:53 pm
Doug Mann, Livermore
Registered user
on Nov 26, 2020 at 1:53 pm
8 people like this

I think your explanation of structural racism is about as good as it gets Trish. True, you may find that you need to repeat it over and over again for those in our society who won't accept that the journey of discovery of basic truths is not rooted in some sort conspiratorial attack on their personal rights. Let us hope that the subcommittees are actually effective at their goals. It could be that we have at least one thing that happened in 2020 with which we will be pleased.


MichaelB
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 26, 2020 at 3:40 pm
MichaelB, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Nov 26, 2020 at 3:40 pm
10 people like this

"True, you may find that you need to repeat it over and over again for those in our society who won't accept that the journey of discovery of basic truths is not rooted in some sort conspiratorial attack on their personal rights."


Not a "conspiracy". I suggest you begin a "journey" of your own to discover those that exercise their freedom of expression regarding BLM (which has been the catalyst for recent equity and inclusion efforts)- and what happened afterward.


Web Link


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.