Jackson City Council to vote on creation of Racial Equity Commission

Michigan

Jackson Mayor Derek Dobies says, when it comes to racial issues facing the city, the first step to solving the problem is to acknowledge that one exists.

“We know that there has been a long history of discriminatory practices, and discriminatory policy making, and discriminatory decisions based on race,” said Jackson Mayor Derek Dobies.                    

The city says, some of the major disparities include employment, education, and housing. The city wants to take a closer look at these issues. In tonight’s City Council meeting, leaders will vote to approve a new Racial Equity Commission that would be tasked with reviewing current, and upcoming policies.

“We are being very intentional about building a more inclusive, and more equitable community,” said Mayor Dobies.           

Leaders who are experienced in working with people of all backgrounds, like John Willis, say they will work hand-in-hand with the community

“How we come up with a plan to address those disparities, how we come up with a plan to meet the needs of the community, and to do what we need to do to make sure that everything is equitable for our entire community,” said Chief Equity Officer for the city of Jackson, John Willis.          

Willis hopes this team makes a strong statement for Jackson to be the first city in the state to have a commission like this.

“I think it would say a lot about the intent, and the will of our city, and our administration to support people of all ethnic groups, of social economic backgrounds, and just making sure that the opportunities are there for everyone,” said Willis.

The first vote is tonight at 6:30. To be formally approved, it would need a second approval in September.                   

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