Outlining Our Commitment to Racial Equality July 09, 2020
This past week the City Council held its first in-person Council meeting since May. It was good to get back together in person! We are fortunate to have the technology which allowed the Council to meet virtually when the pandemic related restrictions prevented us from meeting in-person. While the restrictions have been reduced, attendance at the meeting is still limited in order to adhere to the social distancing requirements. To allow for a few more citizens to attend the Council meeting, we moved from the Council Chambers to the large meeting room at the Coos Bay Library.
This week's agenda included consideration of a resolution supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion within the community of Coos Bay. Prior to considering the resolution, I shared the City’s Statement on Inclusion and Diversity which is as follows:
“While we truly believe racism has no place in Coos Bay, historically we acknowledge there have been many incidents of racial injustice in our community. Lately this community has seen bigoted actions incited by few and impacting many. I speak on behalf of our entire City Council when I say that we are taking a zero tolerance policy on any activity flaming prejudice, and we are taking actions to ensure everyone in Coos Bay feels safe, respected and represented:
First, at the suggestion of Councilor DiNovo - and in collaboration with Councilors Miles and Matthews - we are preparing to adopt a resolution outlining our commitment to racial equality, which I will read following these remarks. It shares our concerted commitment to make our community more inclusive, where all people can be safe and thrive.
Second, we will be launching a series of community listening and learning forums where I and my fellow City Councilors will engage in open dialogue regarding the racial tensions taking place in our community. From these listening forums, we plan to come away with actionable next steps to improve our community.
Third, the Coos History Museum is collaborating with stakeholders and community members to prepare a recommendation on how our community can commemorate the life of Alonzo Tucker and others who have fallen victim to racial injustices that have occurred in our community.
Fourth, in response to the disturbing graffiti incidents we’ve seen throughout the last six weeks, the City is revisiting its ordinance on graffiti to ensure it addresses the current concerns of our community. Please call 541-267-6666 to report incidents. It is our goal to not only remove the graffiti within 24 hours, but also to identify those who are responsible.
For more information on how the City of Coos Bay will be addressing racism in our community, and how you can get involved, please subscribe to our Friday Updates or visit our Facebook page, Coos Bay - City Government.”
-Joe Benetti, Mayor of Coos Bay
The Council unanimously approved the following Resolution: