Today I wanted to share an update on the work we’re doing to promote diversity, equity and inclusion within the City of Everett.
When I first took office, one of my early actions was issuing a mayoral directive on community engagement and inclusion. From that directive emerged the vision of One Everett: a connected and engaged community, built on trust, inclusion and equity. Other goals included improving diversity at the City to ensure our workforce begins to better represent the community we serve, as well as developing plans for engaging all members of our community.
Since then, we’ve made progress toward these goals. We’ve provided training to staff and managers on implicit bias and discrimination. We’ve worked on our hiring and recruitment processes to change our civil service rules and remove barriers to employment. We created an interdepartmental engagement team with staff who serve as champions for diversity, equity and inclusion across City departments. We established a Youth Advisory Board and a Police Chief’s Advisory Board, which strive to reflect the diversity of our city. These two advisory boards, together with our Diversity Board, serve to advise the mayor and police chief respectively on relevant and timely concerns. More recently we’ve initiated listening sessions with our communities of color as well and will continue this work in the coming months.
We cannot do this work alone. Forging and strengthening our connections and partnerships with community organizations is essential. We are fortunate to have many organizations leading the way in anti-racism work and we look forward to learning from and working together with them.
I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished thus far. And I know we have more work ahead. I want our momentum to continue and grow.
To help in that endeavor, I’m very pleased to announce Kay Barnes has accepted a position as the City’s new equity manager. Kay has been employed with the City since 2006 as part of our human resources team. She has worked as part of our interdepartmental team on community engagement and inclusion and I know she will be a great champion and leader of this work for us.
In her new role, Kay’s focus will be on developing, promoting and maintaining an internal culture of equity. She will work to ensure our staff reflect the diversity of our city, that the City is a safe place to work for our diverse staff, and that the City is well-connected to our Black, Indigenous and people of color communities. We look forward to sharing more about this work in coming months.
Please join me in welcoming Kay as our new equity manager. We look forward to working together with our community to ensure Everett is a safe place for all to live and work.