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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Recent events within our organization and in our broader community have raised questions about our city’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. I want to address this directly.

As the leader of this city organization, I am committed to fostering an environment where all employees feel welcomed, valued and respected. I also understand issues of diversity, equity and inclusion are deeply personal, yet show up across all aspects of our daily lives, not just in the workplace.

Last week the City Council considered and ultimately decided against adding a third flagpole to City Hall and developing a policy for the flying of commemorative flags. Given the timing just prior to Pride Month, many assumed this item was about flying the Pride flag specifically. It was not, however at a special meeting last Thursday, the City Council voted to put an item on the June 13 agenda to specifically discuss raising a Pride flag at City Hall.

Regardless of how the City Council votes on these items or any other item, it’s important to keep in mind the differences between City Council’s role and the role of staff. As staff, we provide data based on our best professional expertise. The City Council’s role is to carefully weigh all factors, including data, legal requirements, community priorities, costs and many others, and ultimately make policy decisions they feel are best.

In our role as city staff, we are not advocates for or against city policies. If you would like to express an opinion about this or any other action of the City Council, you are free to do that, just as any other member of the community would. I just ask that you avoid the perception that you are speaking on behalf of the city or using public resources when you are expressing your own individual views.

I am proud of the work that has been done to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in our organization. We are one of a small number of cities our size to have a dedicated staff position focused on diversity, equity and inclusion, and we have a City Council-approved DEI work plan, developed by a cross section of city staff serving on our DEI committee. That work has been solid, and is continuing, including these upcoming trainings and discussions.

LGBTQ+ Awareness Training - Thursday, June 15, 2 to 4 p.m. (In-Person)

Click Here to learn more and register!*

Black is…Black Ain’t 2023 - Tuesday, June 20, 1 to 2 p.m.

Click Here to learn more and register!*

2Spirit Awakening: Our Existence is Resistance - Wednesday, June 28, 11 a.m. to noon

Click Here to learn more and register!*

In recent weeks, the significance of exploring and discussing issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion has become even more apparent. It is essential that we maintain an ongoing commitment to approaching these topics with kindness and curiosity and grace as we strive to learn and grow together.

Finally, I want to hear from you. I will be holding feedback or listening sessions in the coming weeks and I encourage you to attend. Please review the upcoming sessions below, and send an email to Shelby Nelson at to request and reserve your preferred date/time:

  1. Wed., June 14 – 9 to 10 a.m.

  2. Thurs., June 15 – 4 to 5 p.m.

  3. Wed., June 21 – 10 to 11 a.m.

  4. Mon., June 26 – 2 to 3 p.m.

  5. Tues., June 27 – 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

All sessions will be held at the Faraday Center, Rooms 173A or 173B.

Thank you and I look forward to seeing and hearing from you soon.



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