SLO City Council selects diversity task force members

September 2, 2020

Protest Organizer Tianna Arata, Mayor Heidi Harmon, Cal Poly quarterback Jalen Hamler, and Cal Poly wide receiver Xavier Moore

The San Luis Obispo City Council on Tuesday appointed 13 people to serve as members of the City’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force.

In response to protests over the death of George Floyd, the City Council appropriated $160,000 towards racial equality. The City Council then agreed to create a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force as part of a wider effort to help make the city “an inclusive and safe community for everyone, and to promote belonging, free thought and speech, while condemning racism, hate speech, bigotry, violence, and prejudice.”

More than 90 community members applied to serve on the task force. The Task Force includes nine San Luis Obispo residents and four people from the surrounding communities.

Task Force appointees

Amman Fasil Asfaw: Leader Black Student Life, Cal Poly

Dusty Colyer-Worth: SLO Chamber of Commerce, GALA member

Erica A. Stewart: SLO City Council representative

Jenell Navarro: Chair of Ethnic Studies, Cal Poly

Katherine Soule: GALA Board of Directors

Michael Boyer: Founder Diversity Coalition of SLO County

M’Lynn Martin: Black youth leader, youth minister

Matthew Melendrez: Lenses DE&I Institute

Maxine Kozler Koven: Director of LDR Ventures

Oscar Velasco-Vargas: Central Coast Coalition for Undocumented Student Success

Noha Kolkailah: Teacher SLO High School

Renoda Campbell: HRC representative

Vanessa Parsons: Teacher and Equity Team Member

The initial Task Force will be in place through Jan. 2021. The specific charter of the Task Force is as follows:

  • Focus on activities that support marginalized racial, ethnic, and cultural groups.
  • Collect information and insight about advancing DE&I in San Luis Obispo.
  • Develop a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) to support the DE&I work of proven organizations and best practices for change.
  • Provide guidance and a foundation for creating a potential 2021-23 DE&I-focused Major City Goal.
  • Strengthen the focus and role of the City’s Human Relations Commission (HRC) to support the City’s vision.

“The work of the Task Force will complement our continued efforts in San Luis Obispo to create and sustain an environment that promotes diversity and inclusion, prioritizes equity and fairness, and helps our community move forward,” said City Manager Derek Johnson. “I am confident these community members will bring fresh perspectives and new ideas to move San Luis Obispo to a place where everyone feels they can be their whole identity and have a true sense of belonging.”

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You have to be kidding!!!! One thing politicians know is how to waste taxpayer mi=oney and you watch she will get re-elected. What a scam

Hey the report is all ready written! SLO is a community with systemic and interpersonal racism! Solutions ? that will be another $160,000. what will the money be spent on? open discussions with public comment ? trips to the metro areas , trips abroad? oh yes expense accounts for the members? I am looking forward to attending the meetings) So when is the first meeting scheduled ?

“So when is the first meeting scheduled ?”

Meeting? “We don’t need no stinkin’ meetings!”

After all, aye-caramba already wrote the final report for us below. And now Heidi doesn’t even have to waste that $160,000 of taxpayer’s money.

Has anyone heard the term “predatory retribution”. It is a form of extortion that is very effective. You threaten social discourse and the damages are mitigated with money to fund ones likes. That works for big crowds but here, even with a couple of bus loads from elsewhere, the guests love it here and wonder what the problem is? I’m thinking that someone is feeding off the hate from elsewhere and is trying to make it a home game for personal gain. Is it perfect here, no, is it perfect anywhere, no, is this place economically exclusive, certainly not.

It must be difficult for Heidi to unite people, as an extremist. She might try representing and relating to everyone sometime. It simply won’t work, picking a side. Like it or not, we are one race, we are human.

What a complete waste of money! We already know the results of the study, exactly what aye-caramba said. Think of the training our police could have had for this money. Or how about fixing some roads. Or how about dealing with a real problem like homelessness!

The Diversity Taskforce LACKS Diversity and Diversity of Thought. Here’s what the taxpayer will get for $200K : SLO is inherently racist, white people are racist, systemic racism is everywhere, POC have suffered in the past, we need to force change, white people are bad, we are owed, we are owed, we want ___, give it to us, anyone who thinks differently is racist, Free Tiana, police bad, labels bad, ancestors bad, statues of white men bad, think like us OR YOU ARE BAD.

When will it just be said, NO?

I don’t see one Italian last name. I feel unrepresented. Where can I file a grievance?

On a more serious note, there’s also no Asian-Americans on the commission. Sounds like some minorities are more equal than others in Heidi’s World.

So Asians are more serious than my paisano.

There’s 13 votes Mayor Harmon and Council member Pease can count on for their re-election this November.

I for one, can’t wait to see what they come up with. But I’d like to point out that 160K could have been used to hire another Police Officer…

Is there even one straight white male on the team? For at least a pretense of balance.