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City of Monterey To Consider Becoming an Inclusive City

Tuesday night, Oct. 7, at our 7 p.m. council session, Monterey city council will consider a Resolution declaring the council's commitment and support to achieve racial equity and to promote diversity and inclusion. The request for this resolution was brought forward by Councilmember Tyller Williamson and myself after a community forum we hosted in response to Black Lives Matter protests in the city. We were fortunate to have civil rights advocate Mel Mason and Unite Here 483 labor organizer Hector Azpilcueta participate in our panel discussion about issues of race and equity in Monterey. Mel Mason suggested that a good place to start the dialogue with our community would be a resolution on inclusiveness as it would help focus the council and staff on the issues we need to address. Please be sure to write council at cityclerk@monterey.org before 4 p.m. or follow the evening meeting on the city's youtube channel and call in during the public comment period for Agenda Item 15. Please understand that this is statement of principles and values that will then direct council and staff action in the future if approved. To read the proposed resolution prepared by staff, read below.


RESOLUTION NO. __- ___ C.S. A RESOLUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MONTEREY №07/19 CITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION DECLARING THE COUNCIL’S COMMITMENT AND SUPPORT TO ACHIEVE RACIAL EQUITY AND TO PROMOTE DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

WHEREAS, the City of Monterey is dismayed by the recent unjustified killings of Black people and people of color in the United States;

WHEREAS, we are deeply affected by the disturbing images of a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on a handcuffed man’s neck on May 25, 2020, as other officers, trained to help and assist others, ignored George Floyd’s pleas for help;

WHEREAS, on February 26, 2012, 17 year-old Trayvon Martin was killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, claiming self-defense;

WHEREAS, on November 22, 2014, 12 year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed by a police officer in Cleveland, Ohio next to a City Recreation Center after it was reported that he was playing with a “probably fake” gun;

WHEREAS, on August 30, 2019, 23 year-old Elijah McClain, who was walking home after purchasing an iced-tea, died after police in Aurora, Colorado, used a carotid hold;

WHEREAS, on February 23, 2020, 25-year-old unarmed jogger Ahmaud Arbery was shot and killed by three white men, who were not arrested until 74 days after the killing, in Glynn County, Georgia;

WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, 26 year-old emergency medical worker Breonna Taylor was shot and killed inside her home by police executing a “no-knock” search warrant;

WHEREAS, on August 23, 2020, 29 year-old Jacob Blake was shot several times in the back as he entered a car where his three children were seated, leaving him paralyzed from his waist down;

WHEREAS, we are haunted and hurt, too, by the knowledge that these are not isolated events in our country and that the number of names and similar experiences is unconscionably long, an undeniable part of our history, and unacceptably continues to the present;

WHEREAS, Monterey strives to work thoughtfully to ensure that all members of our community feel part of Monterey;

WHEREAS, Monterey wants not only to aspire towards social justice, diversity and racial equity, but become a true diversified community in which all members feel protected, listened to and served by the public servants;

WHEREAS, as public officials, it is our duty and responsibility to use all our legal and moral powers to protect all members of our community no matter their race or color or sexual orientation or disability or gender or age;

WHEREAS, as public officials, we need to foster a community free of fear, intimidation and violence offering equal protection under the law;

WHEREAS, as public officials, we need to ensure that people in our community are not targeted or hurt because of their race or color;

WHEREAS, the recent acts of racism highlight the nation’s collective failure to provide racial and social justice and have sparked advocacy, activism, and protests across the country culminating in movements such as Black Lives Matter;

WHEREAS on June 9, 2020 hundreds of demonstrators met in front of Colton Hall to express their solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and peacefully marched through the City of Monterey;

WHEREAS, the City of Monterey recognizes the importance of providing a safe, welcoming, respectful community, which values human rights, peace, respect, inclusivity, diversity, and equity;

WHEREAS, the City of Monterey recognizes the importance of ensuring that government, including the justice system and law enforcement, is held to the highest standards and actively works to recognize and counteract both systemic and unconscious bias;

WHEREAS, structural racism exists and to preach a color-blind philosophy is to be blind to the impacts of racism. Instead, for example, principals should be able to specifically seek to employ qualified Latino teachers in a school where most teachers are white but most students are Latino. Public universities should be able to consider a student’s race as one of numerous admissions factors, including grades and school work;

and WHEREAS, the City of Monterey determined that the proposed action is not a project as defined by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)(CCR, Title 14, Chapter 3 (“CEQA Guidelines), Article 20, Section 15378). In addition, CEQA Guidelines Section 15061 includes the general rule that CEQA applies only to activities which have the potential for causing a significant effect on the environment. Where it can be seen with certainty that there is no possibility that the activity in question may have a significant effect on the environment, the activity is not subject to CEQA. Because the proposed action and this matter have no potential to cause any effect on the environment, or because it falls within a category of activities excluded as projects pursuant to CEQA Guidelines section 15378, this matter is not a project. Because the matter does not cause a direct or any reasonably foreseeable indirect physical change on or in the environment, this matter is not a project. Any subsequent discretionary projects resulting from this action will be assessed for CEQA applicability.


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the City of Monterey that it hereby:

1. Denounces in the strongest possible terms the actions and inactions by police officers or individuals which resulted in the death of Mr. Floyd and so many others and resolves to do our part to ensure that this does not happen in the City of Monterey;

2. Directs the City Manager and Chief of Police to return by the end of 2020 with a City Council presentation regarding the Monterey Police Department’s use of fair and impartial policing policies, and comprehensive programs to ensure contemporary equitable justice policing practices; and

3. Directs the City Manager to develop and present to the Council a comprehensive plan that incorporates the following policies, procedures and priorities:

a. Asserts that racism is existing and affecting our entire society;

b. Assesses internal policies and procedures to ensure that racial equity is a core element of the City of Monterey, led by the City Manager, Mayor and Council, in collaboration with our neighbors, businesses and other relevant parties and community organizations;

c. Continues to create an inclusive organization identifying specific activities to increase diversity across the City workforce and in leadership positions;

d. Incorporates inclusion and equity into organizational practice by conducting educational trainings/activities to expand employees’ understanding of how racism affects individuals and the health of marginalized populations, and provides tools to assist staff to engage actively and authentically with communities of color;

e. Assesses policies to improve diversity in the City’s Boards and Commissions; and

f. Encourages other local, state, and national entities to recognize racism as a social justice crisis.


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