Livermore City Council agreed to move forward with a list of 10 recommendations presented by the city's Equity and Inclusion Subcommittee during its regular meeting Monday.
"We're not fixing systemic racism in this go, and we're not even going to fix Livermore," said Vice Mayor Trish Munro, who served as the subcommittee's co-chair.
"But all of these together provide a way of inclusive thinking for the city, which provides paths for building collaborations for others to continue doing this work. So, hopefully these will serve as a foundation on which to build for the future," she added.
The nearly year-long city initiative was divided into two phases, with the second phase of meetings concluding on June 15.
Deputy city manager Christine Martin, who also served as the staff liaison to the subcommittee, delivered a presentation to the council with a brief overview of both phases and a summary of the recommendations, which she noted are all implementable given current staff resources and funding. Councilmember Gina Bonanno was absent from Monday's meeting.
The list of recommendations was put together by the citizen working group and refined by the subcommittee before going to the council. The areas addressed in the list include, the Key to the City program, collaborations with community partners, advisory body recruitment and volunteer opportunities, housing and police programs.
Martin mentioned that there was one recommendation that the subcommittee chose not to carry forward for the council's consideration, which was for the city to join the Government Alliance on Racial Equity (GARE). According to Martin, the item was not ranked as a top priority by the working group and she said "the subcommittee was concerned that this may be a check-the-box type of exercise that wouldn't have enough return on investment."
However, Martin said that city staff will continue to research and monitor GARE for tools and resources that may benefit the city's efforts.
Following Martin's presentation, Councilmember Bob Carling, the other subcommittee co-chair, shared his perspective on the experience. "I want to say what a privilege it was to participate and all the folks that came week after week to our meetings, we had very, I thought, terrific participation from the community. Some people actually came to every meeting of every subgroup, so I think that was yeoman's effort in terms of participation," Carling said.
He added, "One of the things that came out of it -- at least on the last meeting of June 15 -- as I recall, was an overwhelming enthusiasm to continue in some fashion for the people that participated."
Both Carling and Munro thanked Martin, city staff, all of the participants and consulting firm Public Dialogue Consortium, which helped facilitate the working group meetings and projects.
They also thanked each other, with Munro extending her gratitude to Mayor Bob Woerner, who co-chaired phase one with her before appointing Carling to take his place upon his ascension to mayor.
"I will say, it's true that sharing a name does not mean sharing a working style," Munro said, adding that she is grateful to have worked on the subcommittee with Carling and Woerner and learned from both of their different working styles.
A handful of participants in Livermore's citizen equity and inclusion working group spoke during public comment on the item to share their experiences and thank the city for establishing the equity and inclusion program.
Toward the end of the discussion, Woerner congratulated everyone involved for doing a "superb" job. "I just want to say this was an incredible amount of work with a really good outcome," he said. "At the beginning, there was a lot of emotion and concern and a lot going on in the country and I think we took a risk, as Vice Mayor Munro pointed out (in her earlier comments), and that it paid off."
Martin said that city staff is working on creating a survey to send to all of the working group participants from both phases for individual feedback about their experiences. Woerner said that the city will also consider planning some form of event or ceremony or distributing certificates as a way to thank all of the participants.
The full list of subcommittee recommendations are as follows:
1. Key 2 City: Expand community awareness of the inner workings of local government and ways to provide stepping stones to leadership opportunities. Expand outreach and advertisement of participation and volunteer opportunities in furtherance of the above.
2. Youth Key 2 City: Create and conduct a Key 2 City specifically for youth.
3. Collaborate with Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District (LVJUSD) and Livermore Area Recreation and Park District (LARPD) to create/implement complementary programming for youth.
4. Collaborate with Livermore Valley Chamber of Commerce, Las Positas Community College and other business organizations on youth training/career opportunities.
5. Recruitment for advisory bodies, employment and other volunteer opportunities: Expand outreach and advertising efforts to reach all segments of the community.
6. Collaborate with LVJUSD, LARPD, Livermore Downtown Inc., Chamber of Commerce and other community partners on a calendar of cultural events.
7. Housing: Expand outreach to communities most affected by housing issues. Share information on housing-related matters with the community.
8. Police Department Stop Data Project: Invite Subgroup B to hear updates and provide input on the stop data project at milestones.
9. Police Department Mental Health Clinician Ride-Along Pilot Program: Explore ways to deploy police department resources most efficiently and effectively in response to mental health related calls for service.
10. Chief's Advisory Group: Increase police chief and police department awareness of community policing-related matters.
A complete recording of the July 26 City Council meeting is available here.