Mayor seeks applicants for new Equity and Justice Task Force

Mayor Mike Nelson

Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson is seeking applicants for a new 11-member Equity and Justice Task Force.

The task force would be charged with recommending policies and procedures for the police department and city hall “that would address bias and inequities perpetrated on African-American residents, people of color and other minorities within our community,” the city said an announcement.

“I am asking for community involvement. I am asking people with experience, knowledge and understanding to walk with me and advise me as we move in the right direction together,” Nelson said.

The mayor said he has been reaching out to community leaders and has created a task force framework that includes 11 members — three at-large members and a combination of civic and business community members as well as representatives from regional equity and inclusion organizations. The mayor will also invite one Edmonds Diversity Commissioner, one city councilmember, and one Disability Board member.

Specifically, Nelson is seeking applicants for the three at-large positions with the following types of experience or characteristics:

  • Experience within and/or representation of communities of color
  • Representing the geographic diversity of Edmonds
  • A desire to help create meaningful change in our community
  • Experience in city government or public institutions
  • Residents of Edmonds

The mayor will also invite one Edmonds Diversity Commissioner, one city councilmember and one Disability Board member.

The city announcement said the task force is not open-ended but will have a scope of work and a timeframe. It will be supported by city or contracted staff.

Those interested may apply by sending a letter to the Mayor’s Executive Assistant Carolyn LaFave at Carolyn.lafave@edmondswa.gov by Friday, June 19 at 5 p.m.

 

 

34 Replies to “Mayor seeks applicants for new Equity and Justice Task Force”

    1. We need it to address over 400 years of systems that have been in place and used to give white people the most power and access to resources, and that have inflicted damage on Black communities and other communities of color. This is one step in the right direction in beginning to create a city and country where everyone has the same opportunities. They are looking for 11 people to begin a deeper look at the practices and policies in Edmonds that are barriers to equity for all community members.

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  1. Perfect. First order of business. Reopen the city bathrooms in the name of equity and justice for all.

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  2. You folks are getting exactly get what you voted for with this guy. If you are not satisfied, why don’t you try a recall like you’ve done with our Sheriff,

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  3. We appreciate this step by the city government. We are aware of unequal treatment of minorities in Edmonds.

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  4. I appreciate and support this step taken by the Government of the City of Edmonds to address the issues stated in the article. So much work needs to be done with respect to racial bias and inequality in our communities.

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  5. Might be wise to include representatives from the police department and police union in these discussions. Those closest to it will have valuable input and will help provide a touch of reality to what is possible (so as not to spin our wheels). Remember the majority of police are the good guys not the enemy.

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  6. Might be best to include men, women, transgender, and some representation from the other 51 gender groups, African Americans born in the United States, Africans born in Africa and now American citizens. People born in South American and now citizens, people born in Mexico and American citizens, Asians born overseas which would include citizens born in India, people that have both various
    challenges both physical and challenges communicating.

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    1. If we do that we can hold the meeting in Civic Park, give everyone a megaphone and let the public stand on the side lines all in masks and see all the dialog. Good idea.

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  7. For those of you still questioning why we need an Equity and Justice Task Force, to address bias and inequities perpetrated on African-American residents, people of color and other minorities within our community, here’s what happened just yesterday in Edmonds and shared on Facebook:
    “My dad decided to take my mom to the spa for her 50th bday. When these wack workers found out my parents were black, they tried to say that my dad didn’t have a reservation. Even tho my dad showed them that he called them yesterday and TODAY at 11am bc it was still on his caller log. Then the lady was all like “oh well, we can’t today.” Then my pops said, “what ab tmrw”, Then she said “we can’t tmrw”, Then my dad said “when are u free next” as ppl are doing walk ins and getting served. The lady responds saying “we just can’t serve you here “. Then the lady has a panic attack and calls the cops. The cops come in and realizes it’s racism at it’s finest and then apologizes to my dad and tells my parents to just take my business somewhere else because it’s not even worth it.”

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    1. Lisa, until you supply hard data, not 3rd hand hearsay……… you should not be given a forum. This is not the way to proceed with your “complaint”. We will wait for a police report if there is one. There is also two sides to this story. We all need to take a deep breath and see facts and truth.

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    2. If you would like to read an explanation by the business, it is on their Facebook page.
      Why would they call the police to handle an error in booking an appointment?

      People need to know this has happened in our community. I did not name the business outright, so it is not a complaint about them specifically. Rather it is another example of calling the police on black people when they wouldn’t if they were another race, and why city leadership needs to hear the experiences and get the input of other citizens who have different experiences than they do. Furthermore, some of the other comments here (as well as other incidents and comments about them) the past few years that have been reported in MEN, state disbelief of the experiences of people of color, specifically Black Americans. This is not some random posting I found on Facebook that is hearsay–it is from a well-respected and involved family in my school community.

      Just because you personally have not seen bias and discrimination towards people of color in Edmonds does not mean that it does not exist. Especially if people don’t perceive you as a person of color and you have never been on the receiving end.

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      1. Facebook is not a police report. It is a social media site. You talk a lot but you say nothing. Insinuation seems your game; you know nothing about me nor my heritage or plight to come to the US. Don’t start with the people of color with this family Lisa. Bias and discrimination is what many people experience, but you throw it around without facts or proof! You quote an anonymous Facebook post as you make this charge. Your perceptions are just that, perceptions, while you stir the pot with no facts.

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      2. So the mob rules. Over 30 negative posts have been posted on Yelp alone. Some men, mainly women accusing this Salon of being racist. Some posts are not truthful saying they did bad work. These “reviews” have been posted in the last 24 hours. The salon owner has worked so hard to start this business, and recently the forced shut down due to Covid-19. Now the Edmonds Mob is attacking because a complaint has been made. This is not how things should be handled, we cannot abide by mob rule. The salon issued a statement, they can only have a limited amount of people in their salon, but the mob does not care. Are you all so quick to judge and leave reviews on several sights calling this business “racists”? Most of their reviews before yesterday were 5 star. I’m ashamed of the poison, lack of justice and disregard this mob has brought on this business on hearsay alone. They just opened up after a forced shut down, what you are doing is actually cruel. These ladies escaped an oppressive government, why are you doing this without facts? Are you all judging just hearing one side of the story? Is there a police report? This could happen to any business, or person in Edmonds, and should be of great concern to any fair citizen.

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  8. I didn’t even know we had a spa in Edmonds? I know that the spas can’t really operate yet. I just came back from Idaho who are a lot less restrictive than we are. They could only do hair, nails, and facials..we really not much facials as you couldn’t use steam and many other rules. The rules here are much stricter..could that be the reason? My hair dresser just opened yesterday. Nails too.

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  9. I still say why do we need another new group when we just got a new diversity group a year or so ago?? Isn’t that what they were suppose to do?
    Lets not get overwhelmed thinking we have all this hate in Edmonds..I’ve lived here many years and have seen none. Even if we had one every so often..that is not a bad averages since there will ALWAYS be rude people. I think we need stronger leadership not passing the buck to yet another “group.” Why do we have a mayor and city counsel? Can they no handle diversity???

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  10. I voted for Mike Nelson, under the impression he would be a leader for our community and not a follower of Seattle. The Edmonds Police Department has an excellent Chief and over the last 3 years has added more diversity to their force than any other department I know of. I have been an Edmonds resident for over 40 years and have seen this community grow and only get better over time. I feel this community does come together in times such as this. The Mayor creating this diversity group, to police the police, and, while I know this is not his intention, and only causes racism. Until we as humans realize that there is only one race, the human race, all these groups will do is cause issues where there aren’t any and cause divisiveness. We need to stop focusing on skin color and focus on being human. It’s time for Mayor Mike to lead us and not be a constant follower of Seattle.

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  11. DEnis I agree 100%.
    LISA,
    now I am confused. On a Facebook site the EXACT event (as you above described of someone going to Edmonds Spa and were refused service) happened to someone else. They even named the spa. USed the Exact verbiage copy pasted, But they are black.
    Did it really happen to you? Or the Black family? Or is this something else?
    Confused.

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  12. The idea of Equity and Justice is far more reaching than how the police do their work. Equity and Justice is also far different than Diversity. Equity can included things like, day care, health care, food, internet access, housing, income, savings, wealth, opportunity and others. Listening to our elected at all levels of govt we hear voices who are saying things that include discussion about some of the items in the list.

    We have learned from all this CV19 stuff that kids learning from home requires a computer and internet access. One school district who handed out computers Stopped on line work because they were concerned about the equity of access to the internet. So they stopped online learning for all because some did not have access. The primary reason they stopped was because of potential law suits if I recall correctly.

    We have all sorts of inequities, some of the elected are working on ideas and programs that will try to address some of these issues. Clint, I did not mention any group, you should be proud of teaching me not to single out a particular political group!

    What will serve us in almost all the issues we look at is first agreeing on “what is the problem we are trying to solve? That’s what good government is all about.

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  13. Update: Here is what the owner of the business posted earlier today. They had posted, then deleted an explanation yesterday as well. So, the business owner has told their side of the story twice now, and do not deny that this incident happened.

    “We, the owners of …….., would like to offer a public apology to Mr. and Mrs. ……. who had an unpleasant interaction with members of our staff on Tuesday this week, as well as an apology to our community. We pride ourselves in being an establishment that is welcoming of all people, but in this interaction we failed. A misunderstanding over appointment scheduling was not handled well by our staff, which led to an escalation of tensions that should not have occurred. We apologize. We have had serious discussions with our staff about this issue and are committed to education and consciousness-raising among staff. We have already reached out to the Edmonds Diversity Commission for their insights and guidance. We also recognize that not all our staff have proficient English language skills, which can add confusion and even tension to a misunderstanding or conflict. We must address this by ensuring that someone who speaks proficient English be present in our salon. But above all, we are committed to creating an open and welcoming environment for all community members in Edmonds. Please accept our apology and we hope to see you around town and, perhaps, in our shop again soon.
    Thank you”

    I am glad to hear they have reached out to the Edmonds Diversity Commission and hope they truly learn from this experience.

    Also, I’d like to point out that one of the Edmonds Diversity Commission’s recommendations back in 2018 was to create a task force to review existing policies and procedures and make recommendations for changes to the mayor and city council, with an annual review (https://myedmondsnews.com/2018/10/diversity-commission-suggests-bold-policy-changes-to-ensure-edmonds-becomes-more-inclusive/)
    Based on the comments in this thread alone, it sounds to me like we still need this task force.

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    1. Lisa, Perhaps you could purchase one of the new “Justice” signs and take it to the Main St Salon and offer a huge apology, for your unwarranted public accusations. Yes, they have explained and apologized for everything, but is it as you said? No it is not. Language barriers can be difficult and kindness could have been the order of the day, but you chose a reckless and most unkind way of punishment for something that you had no first hand knowledge.

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  14. Lisa as I said you need to research before you trash a business. It was probably a language barrier. Which happens. I questioned it only because of the Covid problem and no one could get in anywhere unless you had an appointment weeks out. How much did your post hurt the business? And you put it on Edmonds Moms Facebook page. These woman can be ruthless and mean to businesses..gads

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  15. Grace well said. I hope Lisa contacts EDmonds moms (Facebook) so they will remove the horrible negative remarks.

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  16. You said enough Lisa, all you have to do is use google. You made a public accusation in this very thread. The “moms” are in full Bully Mode. This salon has been falsely accused because of your comment that had no proof, no police report, just ugly gossip. Shameful for an Edmonds business to be persecuted on gossip. There are now over 50 negative comments (in less than 24 hrs), you have helped destroy the reputation of these hard working immigrant women. You had no right to do this. Is this women helping women? I think not. If this event did indeed happen then the actual people need to come forward. Otherwise this is hearsay and it has hurt the business and their families.

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  17. How is it hearsay or women helping women when the business owner fully admits to calling the police on a woman and her husband over a scheduling error? Calling the police on people who did not do anything wrong was completely unwarranted and can be very dangerous. I don’t need to see a police report to believe the experience this couple reported and what the business owner has admitted happened; feel free to contact Edmonds PD if you feel you need that evidence. There are no winners in this–I felt compelled to share what happened to show why we need a Diversity Commission and Equity and Justice Task Force because some people on this thread were being sarcastic about this very serious topic. I’d also like to point out that A LOT of people shared this incident and made negative comments on other channels well before I posted it here–I definitely don’t have that many connections on Facebook and I’m not even part of the Edmonds Moms FB group.

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  18. You seem to be tone deaf Ms Chen. Police were called due to lack of communication, it seems. The women of this business reached out to the diversity commission, they want to do the right thing. What you have done is target a business for harassment. You should be held responsible. From the looks of these comments, most feel the same. Think before you act. You were NOT there, you don’t know how the couple who did not get their perceived appt acted. What you did was not the decent thing to do for either party, and especially the community. We need to be aware of false accusations so that true vicious acts of racism can be handled in an honest professional manner; that is what most want. How or why you got involved is puzzling.

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  19. Reading thru all of this, I have to agree with my good neighbor, Mr. O’Malley’s, comments. I’m still very much in Mayor Nelson’s corner on most things Edmonds, but if you think about it, we (Edmonds citizens and government) were actually ahead of the curve on this justice and diversity issue as we had already developed a diversity commission over a year prior to the recent horror in Minneapolis. I think the sheer racial and human atrocity of that killing has clouded the Mayor’s judgement a bit in creating another quasi government commission to do what we are already doing (or trying to do, anyway). We tend to treat every issue in this town as if it’s rocket science; needing a study and a commission and a task force and months of discussion. ” Golden Rule” on this diversity, race and policing issue would go a long way toward solving it everywhere in this nation, not just Edmonds.

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  20. If the Task Force is created, a member from the Disability Board doesn’t seem to make much sense, as the title of the Board is misleading. This Board is to oversee funds of Edmonds retired and disabled Law Enforcement Officers & Firefighters. Per the City Website on 13 June 2020, there are only five members, and one City Staff representative from which to select: Ken Jones (Chair), Gary McComas, Susan Paine, Council Member, Vivian Olson, Council Member, Citizen-At-Large: Jim Distelhorst and City staff: Emily Wagener.

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