1. Call to order: 5:03
Attendance: Yamaguchi, Gillis, Simon, Garret, Muse, Cowden, Choudhary, Elson, Williams, DuQuenne (council liaison), Seltzer (staff liaison)
Co-chair Simon suggested SERJ include a land acknowledgement at the beginning of each meeting as is done by the City Council. She asked for a motion to approve her request.
Motion: Elson/Muse moved approval of reading the land acknowledgement at the top of each meeting. Motion passes unanimously.
Seltzer will include the land acknowledgement statement read at the City Council meetings on future agendas.
2. Approval of Minutes:
Motion: Elson/Williams moved approval of the minutes as presented. Motion passes unanimously.
3. Public Input: None
4. Meet with City Manager Joe Lessard.
Simon welcomed City Manager Lessard and posed several questions about his background, involvement with DEI issues and more. Lessard invited the commission to submit resources to him that may be useful as he begins recruitment for two senior positions at the City.
5. Update with sub-committee on participation in special events.
Yamaguchi led the presentation and explained that the sub-committee has identified three topics: 1) a “get to know each other gathering” 2) picking two events the commission could participate in and 3) Establish an archive to document the work of SERJ.
There was general discussion and suggested ideas. The sub-committee will discuss the ideas at their upcoming meeting and bring forward their recommendations at the April meeting.
6. Council Liaison Update.
Councilor DuQueene identified several organizations that SERJ might consider inviting to a future meeting, including Truth to Power, Pubic Art Commission and the Say their Names Project, Planning Commission, Housing Commission and the Ashland Chamber/Travel Oregon.
7. Wrap up and future agenda items.
Simon addressed the three items sent to the Commission last evening.
1) Discussion and review of the report to the City Council and specifically next steps. This item was carried forward to the April meeting.
2) The co-chairs are proposing a DEI engagement for the commission. This item will be on the agenda for the April meeting.
3) Participation on the Housing Production Strategy committee.
Simon invited Seltzer to explain the Housing Production Strategy committee. Seltzer summarized the work of the committee and asked for two SERJ commissioners who might be interested in serving on the committee. Gillis and Cowden volunteered. Seltzer will send follow up information next week.
Meeting adjourned: 6:35 p.m.