Social Equity and Racial Justice Commission
The purpose the residents of the City of Ashland (City) want all people, regardless of origin, race, color, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, faith, age, marital status, familial status, disability, or income level, to be accorded respect, equal opportunities, and unbiased justice and want diversity, individuality, civility, and creative initiative to be welcomed and celebrated in their city; and
The Social Equity and Racial Justice Commission shall provide recommendations and support to the Council and City Manager and education to the community on policies, measures, and practices to foster racial and social equity and respectful intergroup relations.
A. There is hereby established a Social Equity and Racial Justice Commission for the City of Ashland.
B. The Social Equity and Racial Justice Commission shall consist of no fewer than nine (9) and no more than eleven (11) voting members. All voting members shall reside within the corporate limits of the City of Ashland.
C. Both voting and non-voting members of the Social Equity and Racial Justice Commission shall be appointed by the Mayor with confirmation by the Council.
D. A member of the City Council shall serve on the Social Equity and Racial Justice Commission as a nonvoting, ex-officio member.
E. Commission membership shall reflect a broad spectrum of community interests and perspectives, specifically including individuals with backgrounds in race and social equity work and a representative cross section of historically marginalized or underrepresented groups, such as Black, Indigenous, People of Color, LGBTQ+, and disabled persons.
F. Commission members shall serve as individuals exercising their own best judgments and not as delegates or spokespersons for their respective organizations or groups.
G. The staff liaison to the Commission shall be appointed by the City Manager and shall be responsible for meeting arrangements and minutes and supporting the Commission as set forth in Section 2.10.055 of the AMC chapter on Uniform Policies and Operating Procedures for Advisory Commissions and Boards.
Meetings and Rules
A. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Code, a quorum of the Social Equity and Racial Justice Commission shall consist of more than one-half of the total number of its current Council-confirmed voting members, but in no case fewer than five (5).
B. Except as otherwise expressly stated in this Chapter, the Social Equity and Racial Justice Commission shall establish and observe policies and meeting and conduct rules consistent with those set forth in the AMC chapter on Uniform Policies and Operating Procedures for Advisory Commissions and Boards.
The duties and responsibilities of the Social Equity and Racial Justice Commission shall be as follows:
A. To serve as an advisory body to the City Manager and City Council, with the same authority as other City commissions to define problems in City policies or governance, specify remedies, and partner with community organizations to implement those remedies upon City Manager or City Council approval.
B. To encourage understanding and celebration of the diversity of the City’s population and visitors.
C. To promote amicable inter-group relations within the City.
D. To provide or facilitate human rights education and training opportunities for policymakers and the general public.
E. To foster increased economic opportunities for Black, Indigenous, People of Color, LGBTQ+, and disabled persons, as well as other marginalized persons in the Ashland community.
F. To consult with other City advisory bodies and non-City entities on matters of mutual interest in the course of developing Commission recommendations.
G. To engage at least every two years a broad spectrum of community members in gathering information on emerging issues and needs as they relate to human rights and intergroup relations.
H. An individual may approach the Commission regarding a specific instance of prejudice, discrimination, or racism. If there is a mutual agreement from all parties involved in the incident, then the Commission shall arrange for impartial, nonbinding, collaborative conciliatory services that do not conflict with the functions of any other government body. If any party involved in the incident does not want to engage in conciliatory services, then the aggrieved individual will be referred to qualified sources of impartial advice and counsel.
I. To deliver to the Council annual reports on its activities and accomplishments in the preceding year and to provide to the Council for its approval the Commission’s priorities for the succeeding year and the Commission’s draft workplan for developing recommendations on:
1. Identifying and rectifying historic and contemporary systemic and systematic practices of racism, homophobia, sexism, classism, and other racial and social inequities impacting Black, Indigenous, People of Color, LGBTQ+, and disabled persons, as well as other marginalized persons in the Ashland community.
2. Proposed policies, measures and practices to bring about social and racial equity and a greater inclusion for all who live, work, or visit in the City.
In the performance of its duties, the Social Equity and Racial Justice Commission shall:
A. Provide only services that do not conflict with the functions of any other City department or government agency.
B. Have no executive or administrative powers or civil rights investigatory or enforcement authority except as specifically provided in this Chapter.
C. Have the authority to request voluntary testimony but may not compel an individual or organization to appear before or respond to questions from the Commission.
D. Serve solely as an advisory body whose recommendations shall not be final decisions and are therefore not subject to administrative or judicial appeal.
Please remember that other than staff, the people listed below are volunteers working on behalf of our community and should only be contacted on matters related to their particular commission, committee or board.