Social Equity and Racial Justice Commission
October 6, 2022, 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
1. Call to order: 5:09
Attendance: Gillis, Simon, Decker, Santiago, Seltzer (staff liaison)
Absent: Yamaguchi, Choudhary, Williams, DuQuenne (council liaison)
2. Approval of Minutes of June 9, 2022 and October 1, 2022
M/S Simon/Gillis moved to approve minutes of the June and October meetings. Motion passed unanimously.
3. Public Input: None
4 News and Updates
Simon provided an update on the following: the Council approval of public art, Ancestors Future: Crystalizing Our Call by Micha Blacklight, the First Friday event at Catalyst, and Pride Parade.
Simon reminded members to continue to recruit Ashland residents who may be interested in serving on the SERJAC.
5. Members discussed whether to hold SERJAC meetings in person, hybrid or continue with Zoom only. Generally, the group prefers a hybrid meeting. Seltzer will follow up on availability and equipment to determine if the November SERJAC meeting can be hybrid.
6. Members discussed issuing a statement of support in response to death threats directed at OSF Artistic Director Nataki Garrett.
Members felt it is important that SERJAC issue a statement of support. Simon will draft the statement and invited members to send her, via Seltzer, emails with possible content for the statement. Input from members should be sent no later than Tuesday, October 11.
M/S Simon/Decker moved to authorize herself and co-chair Yamaguchi to write a statement condemning racism and racist threats towards all people and specifically OSF Artistic Director Nataki Garret.
7. Community-wide welcoming project. Seltzer gave a brief explanation about this upcoming project. $20,000 is allocated for this project and City Manager Joe Lessard asks for input from SERJAC on the design and implementation.
8. DEI Assessment. Seltzer gave a brief explanation about this upcoming project. $40,000 is allocated to hire a consultant to conduct a DEI assessment of the city organization. The City will publish a Request for Proposal inviting consultant to apply. The RFP will include language explaining the purpose of the project and the desired deliverables. SERJAC will be asked to provide input on that language.
9. Internal Training. In June, the Housing and Human Services Action Committee voted to allocate funding to SERJAC to engage DEI training for staff and elected officials. Seltzer does not know how much money is available, but staff estimates it may be $3,500 or less.
10. Council Liaison/Staff Liaison Update.
• On October 18, co-chair Precious Yamaguchi will provide a report to the City Council on the activities of SERJAC.
11. Wrap up and future agenda items.
• SOU President Rick Bailey will attend the November meeting.
• CM Joe Lessard and Police Chief Tighe O’Meara will attend the November meeting.
• Truth to Power has been invited to attend an upcoming meeting.
Meeting adjourned: 6:35 p.m.