Palestine city administrators are creating a community diversity committee to advise the city council. Council members will discuss the group – tentatively named the Inclusion Diversity Equity Alliance Committee (IDEA Committee) – on Monday, June 22.he proposed seven-person committee, including a chairperson,
would enable residents and business owners to recommend ways to improve diversity, inclusion, and equity in the Palestine community. Six of the seven members would be appointed to represent each of the six city council districts.
“We are encouraging input from the community as a whole to help this committee be successful,” City Manager Leslie Cloer said. “I hope that this new committee will allow us to begin regular interactive dialogue for our residents and business owners to feel safe to express their opinions in a respectful environment and to help your administration and elected officials make more inclusive plans for the future of Palestine.”
This group will act as advocates and help the city better understand and identify barriers to participation and ways to improve relationships in Palestine.
“Our city is growing and changing,” Palestine Police Chief Mark Harcrow said. “It is important that each voice is heard as we continue to move forward in our community. I commend our city manager and the council for taking the steps to ensure that the community has a voice.”
Residents wanting to serve on the diversity committee should submit their names before July 2. Council members and city administrators will then appoint the members.
“The time for change is now,” said District 3 Councilwoman Vickey Chivers. “The death of George Floyd has affected a lot of people and now they are awake and willing to work together to change things for the better for everyone.”
District 2 Councilman Mitchell Jordan called the proposed committee a “bold forward step in recognizing that the city of Palestine is a unique and diverse community that needs representation from all racial, social, and religious groups.”
There are not required forms to fill out, interested individuals just need to email their Councilmember. Those email addresses can be found on the city website.