On Tuesday, January 12, the City of San Luis Obispo City Council accepted a number of recommendations provided by its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force (DEI-TF) to further advance the City’s efforts to help make San Luis Obispo an inclusive and safe community for all.
“I want to thank members of the Task Force for their selfless dedication and commitment to their service to the City of San Luis Obispo and our community members,” said City Manager Derek Johnson. “The Task Force has accomplished a lot over the last several months and, while much work remains, their efforts to date put us in a good position to further these important efforts in our community.”
The DEI-TF identified five essential recommendations, which it views as necessary for significant, long-lasting, and meaningful change to take place in the City. These recommendations include:
- Adopt a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Major City Goal for the 2021-23 Financial Plan, which will allocate the necessary resources with the goal to move the City towards lasting change;
- Establish an Office for DEI within the City’s organizational structure that would support the City’s comprehensive approach to improve DEI;
- Developing and implementing a DEI strategic plan for the City, which would include assessing City policies, practices, environments, and community needs;
- Commit to ongoing, annual funding of at least $150,000 for DEI high-impact grants that would transition to a permanent, annual program dedicated to funding nonprofit organizations that have a track record of operating high impact and relevant programs focused on improving the lives of members of marginalized communities in SLO; and
- Charge the City’s Human Relations Commission to designate DEI as a standing priority, which will serve to sustain the work of the DEI Task Force, administer the DEI grants, and advise on DEI strategic plan development, implementation, and accountability.
Since its launch in July 2020, the DEI-TF—which wrapped up its work earlier this month—met more than 14 times with a wide variety of groups and organizations to examine equity gaps and the experiences of the City’s most marginalized communities. Through these “listening sessions” the City’s Task Force considered more than 90 recommendations that ranged from direct actions the City can take to efforts that the City can influence and support through partnerships and collaborative efforts.
Born out of these “listening sessions” are seven, longer-term focus areas that the DEI-TF presented to the City Council. These include examining the City’s structure and organization; policies and practices; providing minority business support and attraction; enhancing police department and community relationships; developing a multi-cultural center; maintaining partnerships with Cal Poly and Cuesta College; and positioning the City as an “influencer” not only within San Luis Obispo County, but also beyond.
To read the full staff report, click here.
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