Race Equity Advisory Committee
First Thursday of the month 6-7:30 pm.
Information on Role of Councilmember Liaisons.
Current Topics of Interest
Race Equity Advisory Committee Hosts 'Courageous Conversations' Event
The Race Equity Advisory Committee (REAC) hosted an event on Thursday, February 4, 2021 from 6-8 p.m. This 2-hour event, Courageous Conversations, is a virtual panel discussion on social justice and community service to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Black Lives Matter Proclamation
During the Oct. 13 business meeting, the City Council approved a proclamation declaring that Black Lives Matter is not an inherently political activity. Read the resolution and watch the discussion here.
In order to dismantle systemic and structural racism within our government and community, local leaders must commit to a long term action plan that recognizes the differences between individual, institutional, and structural racism, as well as the history and current reality of inequities for all marginalized groups. Failure to make and follow through with the commitment will jeopardize the development and success of racial equity on Bainbridge Island.
Establishment and Purpose
A. This chapter establishes a standing race equity advisory committee, hereinafter called the “committee,” to provide informed recommendations to the city council on programmatic, community, and legislative options to address and rectify systemic and structural racism and bias within government and law enforcement.
B. Working for racial equity benefits everyone. Deeply radicalized systems are costly and depress outcomes and life chances for all groups. The goal of the committee is not to just eliminate the gap between white people and people of color, but to increase the success for all groups. While strategies to achieve racial equity may target the needs of a particular group, racial equity develops goals and outcomes that will result in improvements for all groups. Systems that are failing communities of color are actually failing all of us.
Membership and Qualifications
A. The committee shall consist of a maximum of nine members who shall be appointed by the mayor and confirmed by a vote of the city council.
B. The committee shall consist of Bainbridge Island residents with experience in or a commitment to ensuring and promoting the committee’s purpose as set forth above.
C. Members shall serve for three-year terms, except that the existing members of the Race Equity Task Force shall assume office and become the initial members of the committee as set forth in Ordinance No. 2020-23, and the positions on the committee shall be staggered as follows: (1) the terms of Positions 1, 2, and 3 shall expire on June 30, 2023; (2) the terms of Positions 4, 5, and 6 shall expire on June 30, 2022; and (3) the terms of existing Position 7, as well as new Positions 8 and 9, shall expire on June 30, 2024. Following the initial terms for the nine positions, the terms shall commence on July 1 and end on June 30 three years later, based on the staggering as above described.
D. Upon expiration of their term, a member may be reappointed to the committee for a new term; provided that no member may serve more than three consecutive terms unless the city council determines either that their special expertise is required or there are no other qualified applicants. Upon expiration of their term, members shall continue to hold office until their successor has been deemed qualified and been appointed.
E. Members shall not be employees or officers of the city. Members shall not be appointed to another city advisory group, except for specialized advisory groups of limited duration.
F. Members shall serve without compensation.
G. Members shall sign a conflict of interest statement in accordance with the city’s code of conduct and ethics program upon appointment and any reappointment.
Vacancies – Removal
In the event of a vacancy, the mayor, subject to confirmation of the city council, shall make an appointment to fill the unexpired portion of the term of the vacated position in accordance with the city’s appointment cycle. The removal and resignation of members shall be governed by Chapter 2.01 BIMC.
Duties and Responsibilities
A. The Committee shall have the following duties and responsibilities:
1. As directed by the city council, serve as a technical and planning advisory committee to the city council on issues related to racism and race-related bias.
2. As directed by the city council, assist the city in implementing racial equity-related goals and policies as expeditiously as committee and city resources allow.
3. As directed by the city council, provide advice or recommendations to the city council, as appropriate, on methods of completing a baseline city government and police department equity assessment of policies, staffing, contracting, and decision-making.
4. As directed by the city council, assist with or manage the completion of a baseline city government and police department equity assessment of policies and procedures.
5. Recommend to the city council a racial equity action plan and implementation strategy.
6. Provide advice or recommendations to the city council, as appropriate, on how to measure progress toward implementing the city’s racial equity action plan.
7. As directed by the city council, assist the city with participation in regional racial equity efforts.
8. Provide education and outreach to the public regarding racial equity and the work of the committee and the city relating to racial equity.
B. Annually provide a report to the city council on committee work completed within the last year and obtain the city council’s approval of a work plan for work to be performed by the committee in the following year.
Meetings, Officers, Records, and Quorum
A. All meetings of the committee shall be open to the public and held in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act, Chapter 42.30 RCW. The committee shall establish a regular meeting schedule and announce the specific day and time each month that the committee will conduct its regular meeting(s). The committee may schedule special meetings as necessary to conduct the business of the committee.
B. A majority of the members then serving on the committee shall constitute a quorum.
C. The committee shall annually in July elect from among its members either a chair or one or more co-chairs. The committee shall also annually in July elect from among its members a secretary. Once elected, the chair or co-chairs and the secretary shall each serve a one-year term. Demotion of a chairperson or the secretary shall be governed by Chapter 2.01 BIMC.
D. For meetings consisting of a majority of the then serving members of the committee, the committee shall provide public notice of the meeting and shall keep a record of its meeting minutes. Minutes of each meeting, including a record of attendance, shall be prepared by the secretary and approved and signed at a subsequent meeting. The minutes do not need to reflect the actual discussion, but only the formal actions taken by the committee. The approved meeting minutes shall be posted on the city’s website.
E. The city shall provide city email accounts to committee members and related training on the use of email accounts, including personal computer privacy expectations, while serving on the committee.
December 10 City Council Business Meeting (Video): City Council approved the Race Equity Task Force's 2020 Work Plan, proposed Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) budget and extended current member terms through 2020. View agenda packet materials.
November 26 City Council Business Meeting (Video): City Council received recommendations from the Race Equity Task Force to join GARE, engage this group to provide technical assistance, convene a group of City staff members, and work in 2020 to develop a Race Equity Action Plan for the City organization. View agenda packet materials.
November 5 City Council Study Session (Video): The City Council received an update and recommendations from the Race Equity Task Force and it's City Council liaisons regarding next steps for possible 2020 investments. View agenda packet materials.
Scope of Work
- Develop a series of events through the end of the year designed to promote awareness and raise the community’s level of engagement around race and to encourage a dialogue between Bainbridge Islanders and its elected officials on this topic.
- Advisory Committee will invite the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) and the People’s Institute Northwest to first come and meet with the advisory committee and then we will have a study session discussion.
- Advisory Committee to provide a series of recommendations to City Council on ways in which the City can help the community become a more inclusive and responsive community when it comes to addressing racial inequities.
The Bainbridge Island Race Equity Advisory Committee is committed to building awareness, solutions, and leadership for racial justice by generating transformative ideas, information, and experiences. We define racial justice as the systematic fair treatment of people of all races, resulting in equitable opportunities and outcomes for all. We achieve our mission by:
- Community Engagement: Listening to the needs and concerns of our neighbors with compassion and sharing our knowledge.
- Continuous Learning: Deepening our understanding of institutional racism and how it impacts racial equity on the island. Improving our skills in countering racism and organizing for racial justice by tapping the knowledge of experts and jurisdictions who have undergone similar work.
- Advocacy and Activation: Creating opportunities for organizers, individuals, groups, organizations, institutions, and businesses to invest in interrupting racism, bigotry, and prejudice whenever encountered.
The Bainbridge Island Race Equity Advisory Committee envisions a society where all systems (e.g. education, criminal justice, health care, housing, the economy) are just, fair, and inclusive, enabling all people to participate and reach their full potential. We believe in the dignity and humanity of all people and strive for a healthy and prosperous community that promotes all people having equitable access and opportunity.
The purpose of the Advisory Committee is to provide advice and counsel to the City Council on matters of identifying programmatic, community and legislative options and to seek suggestions on how the City can help Bainbridge Island to be an open and welcoming community for all.