The brutal murder of George Floyd and other African Americans launched a world wide movement, Black Lives Matter, calling for fundamental and systematic change to address racial inequity and injustice. At the request of myself and Councilmember Tyller Williamson, the Monterey city council agendized a discussion of these important issues Tuesday night and city council unanimously approved a Resolution declaring Monterey an Inclusive City as a first step to ensuring that our city is inclusive and welcoming to people of all races and religions. Importantly, the city council unanimously passed this resolution that denounces the deaths of George Floyd, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Elijah McClain, Breonna Taylor, and Jacob Blake. It also acknowledges that systematic racism exists in our society and in our city. And it directs the City Manager and Police Chief to report back to council by the end of the year to present the police department's policies and explain how we will ensure that everyone in our city will be treated justly and fairly so that we can be confident that the unjust murders we have seen elsewhere never happen in Monterey. It also calls on our managers to examine all city policies and procedures to ensure that we are guaranteeing equity and inclusiveness. It calls for a review of our HR practices to see how we can do a better job of recruiting a diverse workforce. It acknowledges the impact of high housing costs on perpetuating racial segregation, highlighting another important reason for prioritizing affordable housing. And finally, it directs our Museum and Cultural Arts Commission to examine how we present our history to ensure that all peoples who have contributed to our history are accurately and equitably represented.
This is the start of a process that will take time but sets us on a path to becoming a city where everyone who lives, works or visits Monterey will feel welcome and where everyone will enjoy equal opportunity and equal protection under the law. You can read the Monterey Herald's coverage of this historic action by the Monterey City Council here.