I attended the work session of the Albany City Council and the Human Relations Commission and was relieved to hear that the issues around language that define the mission of the HRC have been resolved. What remains to be done, in my opinion, is some healing of pain in the community from the initial reaction of the City Council.
At the July 13 City Council meeting, the HRC proposed some changes to the language in the Commission's charter that included the words "diversity, equity, and "inclusion." Twelve or more members of the Albany community came forward and told heartfelt stories of ways in which they had experienced some sort of discrimination, For some it took a great deal of courage to come forward and tell their stories. (There is a video recording of this — and all — Council meetings on the city of Albany City website.)
At the conclusion of this outpouring of pain and anger by citizens, the Council took exception to the words diversity, equity and inclusion, and refused to make the changes.
As I began, I am relieved and heartened by the final resolution of this issue and can see that the process has been a positive one for the Council/HRC and the Albany community. What seems to me to be still wanting is a recognition of the part those brave folks who came forward. They have my personal admiration and grateful thanks. I would so like to have them have some official recognition of the part they have played in moving Albany a step toward real "diversity, equity, and inclusion".
Albany (Oct. 5)