News Flash

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Posted on: November 22, 2022

DEI Initiatives Update - November 2022

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion - Colorful Hands Together

November 22, 2022

The City of Mill Valley commits to act and encourage community action towards eliminating racial disparities, both inside government and in the community. The City Council has identified Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives as their top priority, and staff provides regular updates to the City Council and community on activities in Mill Valley and around Marin County on a regular basis.

City Wide

United Against Hate Week - November 13 - 19 - The City of Mill Valley joined in spreading the message of United Against Hate Week: “We reject hate of any kind and believe that building a safer and more equitable world starts by working together.” On November 7, 2022, the Mill Valley City Council unanimously adopted a resolution to Declare the Week of November 13-19, 2022, as "United Against Hate Week" in the City of Mill Valley.

"The Mill Valley City Council declares its commitment to stand United Against Hate and supports United Against Hate Week activities helping to empower community bridge building and strengthening our communities to combat hate during every week of the year, but with special attention during the week of November 13 through November 19, 2022, and onwards." Learn more about United Against Hate Week here.

City Manager

City Manager Working Group - The City Manager and staff met on Monday, November 14 with members of the community to discuss City services and practices with a focus on DEI. Staff provided an overview of the City’s DEI initiatives, and the group discussed how the City's General Plan can potentially be used as a guiding principle for the City's decision making. The meeting helped identify and develop potential opportunities moving forward and to work collaboratively together. 

Planning & Building

Upcoming Meetings - We have a number of important meetings coming up regarding housing in Mill Valley. Community participation and input is welcome and encouraged. Click on the links below to find out how you may learn more, participate and share your thoughts.

Public Works

ADA Compliant Curb Ramps - Work crews continue to install and upgrade ADA compliant curb ramps along East Blithedale Avenue as part of the East Blithedale Rehabilitation Project. Additionally, Public Works crews have recently installed, and are continuing to install approximately 16 new ADA ramps on streets such as Mountain View, Sunnyside, Longfellow, Buena Vista, and Carmelita. Downtown, community members may notice new ADA compliant ramps at the corner of Miller and Bernard adjacent to the old Vasco restaurant.

Without curb ramps, sidewalk travel in urban areas can be dangerous, difficult, or even impossible for people who use wheelchairs, scooters, and other mobility devices. Curb ramps allow people with mobility disabilities to gain access to the sidewalks and to pass through center islands in streets.

Recreation & Arts

JEDI Committee Update - At their November 2, 2022 meeting, the Parks and Recreation Commission received an update on the work of the Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee. Recreation and Arts Director Sean McGrew shared that the committee received a training for Mill Valley sports coaches through the Positive Coaching Alliance. Reactions to the training have been very positive. The JEDI also met on November 3, 2022 to refine and create a shared vision and priorities for the JEDI moving forward into 2023. 

Film Screening - Our America: Lowballed - Mill Valley School District is partnering with Mill Valley Recreation to host a community screening of the powerful documentary, Our America: Lowballed, featuring local residents Paul Austin and Tenisha Tate-Austin. 

Black and Latino families have had their homes appraised for up to $500,000 less than comparable homes owned by white families with racial bias playing a significant factor. According to an ABC Owned Television Stations data analysis of more than 50 million home loans, refinance applications in predominantly Black neighborhoods are nearly five times more likely to be under-appraised than in white communities.

This documentary features Tenisha Tate-Austin and Paul Austin, Marin City residents, and Marin County community leaders, whose home was undervalued by an appraiser. Join us for the screening and the opportunity to hear directly from Tenisha and Paul about the direct impact to them and the grave impact that the undervaluation of homes has on families of color and their ability to build wealth through real estate.

The event will be held on December 7, 2022, at the Mill Valley Community Center’s Cascade Room. There will be a reception before the screening and a Q&A session at the end. This event will be free, however, seats are limited. Be sure to reserve your seat by registering here. You can watch the trailer for the documentary here.  

Library

Author Series Book Club: Covered With Night by Nicole Eustace - As part of our Speaker’s Series, we are offering an in-person book club that will meet to discuss a featured title about a week before the virtual author talk. Connect with your community and library staff as we read and discuss various book genres including popular fiction, self-development, and memoir. This month we'll be discussing winner of the 2021 Pulitizer Prize in History, Covered with Night: A Story of Murder and Indigenous Justice in Early America by Nicole Eustace.

December 7, 2022, 1:00pm - 2:00pm - Conference Room (In-Person): Register here.

Queer Book Club Online - Looking for a safe space to read and discuss books about the LGBTQIA+ community? You've found us! In this monthly book club we'll read both fiction and nonfiction books about the queer experience, the intersectionality of queerness, class, religion, and race, and discuss the ways in which things have changed, remained the same, or ways we can affect the change we want to see. This book club is open to anyone who identifies as being part of or is supportive of the LGBTQIA+ community. This month we'll be discussing The 2000's Made Me Gay by Grace Perry.

December 7, 2022, 7:00pm - 8:00pm - Online: Register here.

Police

Mill Valley Police Update on DEI Initiatives - Police Chief Rick Navarro updates the community on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives at the Mill Valley Police Department. "The Mill Valley Police Department (MVPD) stands firmly on the six pillars of 21st Century Policing. We have leaned forward and not only listened to our community but have taken action," Police Chief Rick Navarro said.  Learn more here.

Fire

DEI Update - At the direction of their Board, Southern Marin Fire District staff have identified a process for implementing hiring and recruitment initiatives. They identified specific hardships to entering the fire service, and have focused on developing career pathways and resources to encourage a diverse and inclusive workforce. Please find the full report at this link, and go to page 47 for the DEI update.

Other Community Partners

Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce 

Marin IJ’s ‘We Are One Marin’ Campaign rolls into third year, expands focus on racially diverse businesses to include businesses owned by veterans and those with disabilities.

Heart of the Village 

On November 10, the Heart of the Village and the Mill Valley Community Center held a community gathering to discuss last weekend’s teen party that ended in chaos and confusion. THANK YOU to all who attended! For those who missed it—and for us all—here’s the quick recap and key takeaways.

Let's continue the conversation! December 5th, 6-7:30 PM we’ll meet at the MV Community center and brainstorm more solutions.Let's continue the Community discussion: How do we support and understand teen needs and behavior. This is a free event - please reserve a spot.

Learn more:

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