Diversity Commission: Past and future priorities | City Corner

By Maria Montalvo | Apr 21, 2017

The Edmonds Diversity Commission focused on events and priorities, past and future, during its April 5 meeting, discussing key priorities for 2017 with staff and community members.

Several in attendance had participated in the commission’s first Youth Forum, “Your Voice Matters,” on March 17. The commission discussed some of the surprises and insights gleaned about diversity among Edmonds’ younger residents. Students from Edmonds-area high schools were invited, and the topics of discussion focused on what was actually happening in students’ daily lives.

The students shared meaningful observations about what they see as escalating bullying and how social media is the main avenue in modern-day bullying, especially on Snapchat, where taunts disappear quickly and cannot be traced. They also spoke of racial slurs and offensive language spoken openly in public.

Students discussed that views of young people often reflect the opinions of their parents, but believe the younger generation is more capable of having difficult discussions and questioning the status quo.

Three sub-groups presented details of the Edmonds Diversity Commission 2017 work plan: policy, partnerships and events. The policy group will kick off an aggressive schedule of interviews with city officials and civic leaders by meeting with Mayor Dave Earling.

The group plans to collect and assess data from a variety of sources to help meet the commission’s charter to make recommendations to the city and its elected officials in regard to policy. The events group retains the successes from the 2016 plan (one event per quarter), with other potential partnerships and events being considered – everything from film and speaker series to storytelling.

The partnerships group strives to establish the commission as the main conduit to and clearinghouse for diversity and inclusion-related resources in the Edmonds-south Snohomish County area, and create meaningful partnerships with organizations with similar missions.

In other business, the group also discussed the mayor’s statements in reaction to insensitive comments by two Fire District 1 commissioners, as well as other potential policy recommendations to the city.

The Diversity Commission will continue to reach out to citizens to share your thoughts and get involved with our efforts to support diversity and inclusion in the city, as well as advise the mayor and councilmembers on these issues.

Information about the meetings, city-sponsored and other diversity events in Edmonds, and resources for issues related to diversity and inclusion, can be found at the commission’s web page: www.edmondswa.gov/diversity-commission-home.html.

The Edmonds Diversity Commission holds its public meetings 6-8 p.m. on the first Wednesday of every month at the Edmonds Senior Center.

Maria Montalvo is a member of the Edmonds Diversity Commission.

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