The Arvada City Council’s June 11 statement acknowledges the senseless death of George Floyd and speaks to how we plan to address systemic racism and create an even more equitable and inclusive community. As we continue to see news of violence against our nation’s Black community members, we have an opportunity to listen, learn and act as a City to continue to build a local government that serves everyone. As a local government, we must take a leadership role in being an agent for change and be a part of the solution. This statement serves to offer our community an update to the actions we have taken, as well as details for how those interested can continue to be informed and join future conversations.
In the past weeks, the City of Arvada has taken several steps toward elevating our commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:
- An internal Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee adjusted short and long-term goals to keep moving this initiative forward.
- The City joined the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE), a nationally-recognized leader in advancing racial equity within government agencies. The City will work with GARE to identify materials and training for the City team and our community.
- We have included racial justice educational materials within internal communications and have offered several venues for City team members to discuss DEI actions, policing practices, and more. The focus is on continuous education on how to serve the needs of all members of our community.
- In response to concerns expressed by our community, the City removed an Arvada history panel from Olde Town that conveyed a story of the Ku Klux Klan activities in Arvada, including the depiction of a group of Klan members. This action was the first in revisiting our history master plan with community input and ensuring we make our City a safe and welcoming place to all while we continue to preserve Arvada history.
With the recent declaration from Jefferson County Public Health that racism is a systemic and structural public health crisis, we encourage everyone to get involved with educating themselves and joining the conversation to listen and learn from each other. We understand some of the conversations might be uncomfortable and we each have different experiences with the topic. We encourage you to participate and help us strengthen diversity, equity, and inclusion in Arvada.
Over the next few months, the City will invite the community, including those members who have expressed interest in being involved, to participate in a dialogue about racial justice solutions for Arvada. We are identifying a range of engagement opportunities, including a mix of both in-person and online activities involving aspects of the City organization, including our Arvada Police Department.
We know our local actions can and will make an impact at the national level, and stand behind actions that support equity and inclusion for all. We will continue to provide regular progress reports to the community, outline our long term goals, and share public involvement opportunities as they become available. In the meantime, please follow our progress at arvada.org/diversity-equity-and-inclusion.
- by City Manager