Edmonds Diversity Commission October meeting report: Creating a path forward

The Edmonds Diversity Commission reviewed a number of operational topics during its October meeting in preparation for next year’s planning. 

Public comment focused on how the city recognizes Indigenous People’s Day. Although the City declared Oct. 14 as Indigenous People’s Day, and not Columbus Day, two years ago following several presentations by the Diversity Commission and citizens, questions were raised regarding the placing of flags across the downtown core, as well as what the city actually does to recognize the date. The flags are placed by volunteers throughout Edmonds on all national holidays.

Councilmember and commission liaison Adrienne Fraley-Monillas announced that the city had established an Indigenous People’s Outreach Task Force, and members of the community are invited to initiate recognition throughout the city. It was noted that October is also National Disability Month, and Hispanic Heritage Month covers part of October, as well.

In the city update, Economic Development and Community Services Director Patrick Doherty updated the commission on the Edmonds storytelling project, “I Am Edmonds.”  The “I Am Edmonds” project will culminate in a storytelling event in the Plaza Room at the Frances Anderson Center on Saturday, Nov. 2  and several Commissioners expressed a hope that the event would become an annual occurrence.

Doherty also shared the draft of a letter to the Snohomish County Prosecutor requesting an update on the Harvey’s Tavern incident. Commissioners provided input on the letter, and it will be mailed to the Prosecutor’s Office.

Finally, Doherty mentioned that the terms of three commissioners expire in January, and only one of the three has requested reappointment (Dean Olson). Application periods will open for the two other commissioner seats in the near future and posted on the city’s website. Any interested candidates are invited to apply.  

Commission Co-Chair Anabel Hovig expressed a concern that the commission could benefit from some mission and operational planning for 2020. Due to the extensive number of issues and incidents brought to the commission, as well as the planned regular programming, the commission will address future planning in a retreat yet to be scheduled.

The 2019-20 Diversity Film Series begins in October and is presented the third Saturday of each month at the Edmonds Theater. All of the films are screened at no cost to viewers thanks to the support of the commission and the Edmonds Theater, as well as an annual sponsorship from Rick Steves. Go to the city’s website for a full listing of this year’s series or look for posters at the theater and around town.  

The Edmonds Diversity Commission typically holds its public meetings on the first Wednesday of every month (6- 8 p.m.) at the City of Edmonds Brackett Room, although it may need to move in coming months. Check the website for dates and locations. Information about the meetings, city-sponsored and other diversity events in Edmonds, and resources for issues related to diversity and inclusion can be found at the Commission’s webpage: www.edmondswa.gov/diversity-commission-home.html.

— Submitted by Diversity Commission member Maria Montalvo

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