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12/03/2019 04Bii Second Presentation of a Draft Equity and Community Integration Plan a\'4\lyy bxk ik 1 PPd PPP g. A PPPPPP+Pd s' lii it tYlltYlA.\ta. BUSINESS OF THE CITY COUNCIL YAKIMA, WASHINGTON AGENDA STATEMENT Item No. B.ii. For Meeting of: December 3, 2019 ITEM TITLE: Second Presentation of a Draft Equity and Community Integration Plan SUBMITTED BY: Randy Beehler, Communications & Public Affairs Director- 901- 1142 SUMMARY EXPLANATION: At the Council's October 1, 2019 regular meeting, the City's Community Integration Committee presented its Draft Equity and Community Integration Plan. The Council took no action on the draft plan at that time. The Plan is being presented a second time by the Community Integration Committee. In early 2020, the committee intends to ask the Council for direction regarding the adoption and implementation of the plan. ITEM BUDGETED: No STRATEGIC PRIORITY: Public Trust and Accountability APPROVED FOR SUBMITTAL BY THE CITY MANAGER RECOMMENDATION: N/A ATTACHMENTS: Description Upload Date Type D waft equity and r rrunity Int gration Plea 11/ 0/2019 r Me o 2 411111161 City of Yakima Community Integration Committee ATTN: Yakima City Council FROM: Community Integration Committee DATE: September 9th, 2019 SUBJECT: Yakima City Hall Council Meeting Eq - an• Community I 'on Plan INTRODUCTION: In late 2017 the Yakima cil : to form a ommunity Integration Committee with the purpose of assis e City of Yakima in improving the areas of equity and community i► egration. The . unity Integration Committee (CIC) was appointed by 'ma City Co► • ordinance. In response to requests from the City C. - •roactiv. e CIC has taken note of opportunities to enhance the environ 'nt o - Hall during council meetings with the hopes of making cou eetint -tter attended by the public, and more inclusive of .e comm ties tha reside in Yakima. The CIC has done research and •rains. ed idea •r •est practices for facilitating community meeti •d we sh to sub e following recommendations for consideration. Please t - •ocument is a draft and is intended to be a working doc . • ent tha be subl- to edits. RECO r ENDATII A. C recom ids setting up a table outside of the door of the Council Cha s for m bers of the public to pick up informational materials, sign up to . , e his table could contain useful materials to help educate the commun . .out City resources, and could be offered in English and Spanish. B. Council could consider giving the physical inside of City Hall (council chamber included) a make over. This could include decorative furniture, rotating art work done by local artists, and more intimate lighting. The CIC understands that the purpose of council meetings is to conduct official city business, but the environment could be made to be more welcoming to the public and illustrate the identity of our city. By creating a personable environment it makes for an inclusive atmosphere and also sends a message about the type of civility that is expected when people come to City Hall.A 3 few minor enhancements could give City Hall a nuance specific to the culture and history of Yakima. C. The Council could explore the possibility of hosting celebrations and performances at City Hall during council meetings. This may include piggy backing on already existing proclamations that are being presented to community members or as pre gavel items. Some cities celebrate poetry slams, live musical performances, dances, and other cultural activities that are symbolic of the local communities they represent. This brings people to City Hall and makes everyone feel connected to the community. Such events may happen during and outside of City Council Meetings D. The CIC recommends that the Mayor open up each co •eting by welcoming the community to City Hall, encouragin r +lit testimony, and explaining expectations and rules of decorum in a • c+ 1 chambers. The CIC has researched best practices for this and + d be • to assist the Mayor. E. The CIC recommends that the Mayor we + e and encourage + s testimony on each agenda item throu• + t the u irety of each eting,yet also use careful discretion of the 3-2-a .a e + +n. The Mayor could show leniency toward anyone who may h. • ed to sign up to testify in advance, by allowing those c+ munity mem+ o speak, and educating them on the sign-up process. also reco that the Spanish/English interpreter + + cil be re' red to stay at least one hour for each City Council mee F. Council members c+ Id remain • - r sea d rin• +ublic testimony. The CIC understan+• ncil mee •gs can s • long and it is sometimes necessary fo +uncil , u hers to s •ntarily excuse themselves. The CIC encourage< +until + se extre a +iscretion and, if possible, only leave during opport + + 't come across negatively from the pers+ e of the G. C. _ e a a ers co •ehave more professionally at all times, particularly ring the + it mee • . The CIC understands that the council chamber is +litical env meet : d there are times when emotions run high. • e aver, the C lso recognizes the council members as official stewards of the i u +cratic + +cess. Council members have an obligation to uphold the highes •1 o composure and professionalism. Should these standards become c+ omised by the council members, then the entire democratic process is . risk of becoming undermined, and the results could be catastrophic. There are specific behaviorisms the CIC has observed over the last year from council members that we find questionable and could be improved upon. They include but are not limited to: making inappropriate reactionary facial expressions, rolling of the eyes, multiple conversations happening at once, sarcastic comments, making physical gestures or using a tone of voice that is unwelcome by the public. The CIC has recommendations on how to improve these behaviors. Some of our suggestions involve using methods of behavior modifications that can be process oriented, behavior 4 specific, and awareness/mindfulness based. This will include potential group trainings as well as self-awareness practice techniques. H. The Mayor could use discretion when using the gavel to regain order in the council chambers during moments of interruption. The CIC understands that certain meetings become emotional. The Mayor, acting as a good facilitator, could be more sensitive to the temperature in the room at all times. If the gavel is overused it could come across as condescending or insensitive to the feelings that some community members may be feeling. The CIC asks the Mayor to be cognizant of these times and use soft voice reminders of the expectations of the council chambers more so than usin• e gavel, whenever possible. i I. The council members could be responsive to com members who make specific asks during public testimony. Council m• •e •uld hand out business cards, or let the speaker know that ar co is have been heard and that you would like to follow up. c• id mak community members who speak feel validated and i •uld make others • -afraid to speak more likely to speak. The Co . Liais• see Recomm •ation K) could assist in this process. J. The City Council could consider the role o n'formed police officer in the council chambers. The CIC u rstands the I stance of public safety at all times. However, we also un•- • • that a uni • •• •olice officer may inadvertently have an impacts p• a s '•n amon• •mmunity members simply by wearing a uniform a • carr _ . •-rm. Thus, we recommend the following ideas •r consider. • 1. If the Counc' • e es utilizi m a unifo ed police officer then the City and the Yn ma Po s Departma •uld consider this position as a Comm b % •licin_• s • •ortunit e position could be delegated to an officer who e s = s' and has good social skills and will in t with • • ,one at pi all in a positive way (much of this is ' pens There c• s .lso bee s versation about the physical positioning of the uniforme• s er w e in the council chambers. The current angemen hile important from the standpoint of police tactics, may tildes •me across as intimidating by community members wi to s eak, and influence the public testimony portion of the meets 9 _ 3. The C• .ncil could consider delegating this role to retired police officers who will fill in wearing civilian clothes. By doing so, this may free up an officer who could be better utilized out on patrol, as well as create an opportunity to honor our retired officers who may want to continue giving back to the community during retirement. 4. The Council could consider utilizing the "Council Liaison" (See Recommendation K) to perform some of the basic administrative duties currently being conducted by the uniformed police officer. K. The CIC recommends the creation of an internship position within the City for an official "Council Liaison." The Council Liaison could be assigned the 5 duty of official greeter at the door of the Council Chambers, manning the desk that features City of Yakima informational materials, including Yak Back, etc. (from Recommendation A). The Council Liaison could be bilingual (English and Spanish), well versed on City of Yakima issues, could assist in directing the public on how to sign up for public testimony, answer questions, and serve as an aide to the City Council (making copies, fetching coffee/water, helping hand out business cards, and assisting with other things between the City Council and the public during council meetings). The Council Liaison could be a socially outgoing person who is possibly interested in pursuing a career in public service, and could use the internship as . epping stone to achieving those goals. The City of Yakima could expan• s of this intern as they see fit. This internship position may be a go. for a high school or college student.