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Social Equity and Racial Justice Commission (View All)

Social Justice and Racial Justice Commission

Thursday, June 02, 2022

Social Equity and Racial Justice Commission
June 2, 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Remote Meeting via Zoom
1. Call to order: 5:09
Attendance: Yamaguchi, Gillis, Garret, Elson, Williams, DuQuenne (council liaison), Seltzer (staff liaison)
Absent: Simon, Choudhary, Jenkins

2. Approval of Minutes:
Motion: Elson/Gillis moved approval of the April minutes as presented.  Motion passes unanimously.

3. Public Input: None

4. Approve Yamaguchi as co-chair.
Motion: Elson/Garrett moved to approve Yamaguchi as the new co-chair.  Motion passes unanimously.

5. Update on Juneteenth banner. 
Williams presented her suggested design for the Juneteenth banner to be hung across Main Street.  She noted that the cost of the banner has not been approved and, if approved, it may not be possible for the banner to be made in time for Juneteenth 2022, but the same design could be used in future years.
There was general discussion and support for the design with the understanding that the banner manufacturer may need make changes to the design to accommodate the size of the banner.  Elson suggested the hands could be superimposed over the flag. 

6. Update on Juneteeth celebration at SOU and BASE in Medford.
DuQuenne provided information about the SOU Juneteenth flag raising celebration that will occur on Saturday, June 18.  Yamaguchi reminded the group about the Juneteenth event in Medford organized by BASE.

7. Participation in the July 4 parade.
There was general discussion about not participating in the July 4 parade and focusing commission efforts on planning for a significant event for Juneteenth 2023 and to plan to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day.  The group also discussed what could be done to educate the community on why many do not celebrate July 4.

Motion: Gillis/Williams moved that SERJ does not participate in the July 4 parade and to allow six months for significant planning for Juneteenth 2023 and to plan to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day.  Motion passes unanimously. 

Gillis and Elson will draft a statement, with input from other commission members, stating why SERJ will not be participating in the July 4 parade and the reasons why.

8. Update on Housing Production Strategy Committee. 
Gillis provided a brief update on the work of the Housing Production Strategy Committee and noted the next meeting will be on July 11. The work is dense and time consuming to review the housing analysis options and there is a lot of catch-up work.

9. Discussion on recruiting new commissioners.
Yamaguchi led the discussion and asked the group what the ideal recruit would be.  Comments include that it is important to recruit people that will contribute to the discussion, have energy, and are willing to work on issues and events. It is important that SERJ is a robust commission moving forward.  Williams expressed the importance of recruiting a diverse mix of members.
Focus on recruiting during July and August and cancel the SERJ meetings for those two months.  

Motion: Elson/Williams Moved to cancel the July and August meetings and to focus on recruiting and reconvening at the September 1 meeting.  Motion passed unanimously.

10. Council Liaison/Staff Liaison Update. 
DuQueene spoke on several issues:
• The City Manager’s work on the budget and his presentation to the City Council on May 23 and 24.
• Mentioned the Ashland Coalition which includes representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, the Ashland School District, Southern Oregon University, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the City of Ashland.  She hopes to engage the coalition to help with SERJ events including activities and banner. 
• She met with two DEI consultants recommended by Anya.  They are preparing a proposal for DEI training.

Seltzer update:
• The City Manager has proposed a budget adjustment of $40,000 for a DEI assessment.  This is subject to council approval in June.
• The Juneteenth flag will fly on the flagpole on the Plaza and the flagpole on East Main in front of the Civic Center.  The flags will be raised on June 13 and removed on June 20.

7. Wrap up and future agenda items.
• Discussion about Indigenous People’s Day on October 10
• Public Art Commission September agenda
• Follow up with Housing Commission and funding for DEI training

Meeting adjourned: 6:35 p.m.

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