The Wheat Ridge Race and Equity Task Force recently presented to the city council recommendations on how the city can become a more equitable community.
In February 2021, the Race and Equity Task Force was appointed by the city council to carry out a thorough review of city policies, services, and ordinances to identify opportunities to improve policies and practices through a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion lens. These recommendations support the city’s initiative to become a more inclusive and responsive community.
On April 3, the Race and Equity Task Force presented its final recommendations report to council in addition to recommended next steps for the Task Force moving forward.
Council accepted the recommendations as a guide for future discussions about racial and equity inclusion.
Key recommendations include:
• Develop and adopt a citywide Race, Diversity and Equity Lens. The Task Force also recommends the city join the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE), a national network of governments working to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities for all.
• Create a position for a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Manager for the city. Additionally, consider creating an internship along with this position.
• Transition the Race and Equity Task Force to an ongoing advisory committee.
• Provide ongoing anti-bias training for all city employees and contractors.
• Improve the city’s website and citywide communications to include easier navigation for seniors, ADA accommodations and more multilingual access.
• Build shelters and support systems to help provide solutions for the unhoused population within the city.
• Make the procedure for community members to register complaints to the city more transparent and easier to find on the city website.
• Update all language in the charter to be gender neutral and/or gender inclusive.
• Update language in charter to be more inclusive of all places of worship.
• Translate the charter into Spanish.
• Increase affordable access to the internet by providing municipal fiber.
• Check that the repair and improvement of civil infrastructure is not affected by income or race.
• Implement 44th Subarea Plan recommendations.
• Create a Wheat Ridge Housing Fund that allows the city to take advantage of affordable housing opportunities.
• Provide accessibility and connectivity to walk to healthy food stores/restaurants and health services.
• Encourage women and minority-owned businesses to come to Wheat Ridge.
• Review voting procedures to ensure voting access for all residents.
Council provided consensus to accept the recommendation report as a guiding document, and they also asked staff to come back to council at a later date to create the scope for an ongoing resident advisory committee related to race and equity.
The City of Wheat Ridge would like to thank the Race and Equity Task Force for their dedicated work. This is only a first step of work to be done, and the city is looking forward to continuing the work of being an inclusive and responsive community.
Contact Wheat Ridge Mayor Bud Starker at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-235-2800.