November 15, 2021
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 Council/Work Plan
Work Plan Update Schedule - The City continues to follow a regular schedule of updates on the DEI Work Plan to Council and the community. Follow the progress on the City’s DEI Tracking Tool. At their meeting on December 6, Council will receive an update on items under the purview of the City Manager Department, Human Resources, Recreation, Arts, and Library.
City Manager/City Clerk
- New “DEI Resources” Webpage - City staff has created a “DEI Resources” webpage in alignment with our commitment to conduct transparent data collection. The page will serve as a resource for staff and community members to track progress on racial equity initiatives and to share data from organizations that track racial equity indicators in Marin County.
- Vacancies Announced - Apply today! Looking for an opportunity to get involved in your local government? The Mill Valley City Council is seeking to fill vacancies on the Emergency Preparedness Commission (learn more and apply) and the Planning Commission (learn more and apply).
Planning & Building
Housing Element Workshop - The Housing Advisory Committee hosted the second Housing Element Workshop on November 10. The workshop focused on the sites inventory which is a required component of the Housing Element Update. Discussion included an overview of state requirements, what to expect in terms of those sites that are listed and identifying possible opportunities and strategies to consider as part of the sites inventory. Stay up-to-date on the latest information by signing up for the Housing Element Update Email List.
Recreation & Arts
At their meeting on November 3, Parks & Recreation Commissioners received an update on DEI initiatives. Director of Arts and Recreation Sean McGrew shared the following:
- The partnership with Soma Aquatics and Play Marin to provide free swim lessons to Marin City Youth is ongoing.
- The Parks and Recreation Commission has created a subcommittee with representatives from MVFREE to discuss potential partnerships in multicultural arts events, performances and displays. The first meeting will be in November.
- McGrew reported that he attended the Building Belonging World Cafe Event sponsored by MVFREE. He shared that it was a great opportunity to build connections and begin to talk about upcoming possibilities for collaboration.
- STRIKE Coalition - Representatives from the Police Department attended a meeting of the STRIKE Coalition substance abuse prevention program on November 10, hosted by the Marin City Community Services District (MCCSD). The program brings together representatives from several Southern Marin communities to address alcohol and illicit drug use by under-age individuals.
- Racial and Identity Profiling Act - RIPA Data - The Racial Identity Profiling Act (RIPA) webpage is now available for community review. The page shows specific data regarding detentions and searches.
- Community Collaboration - Police Department and MVFREE Police Working Group met on November 3, 2021 to work on the development of a Bias by Proxy policy.
- Recruitment and Hiring Initiatives - The SMFD’s DEI Taskforce continues to generate initiatives and opportunities to address recruitment and hiring. After establishing areas of concern using statistics, surveys, 2020 Census information, and a collection of research, the group is in the process of establishing a tiered approach of initiatives that may be implemented immediately, ones that can be implemented in phases, and the ones that will need dedicated budget lines or additional approvals.
- Public Outreach and Education Opportunities- Taskforce members are researching potential organizations for the District to participate with in order to provide more opportunities to learn about or work within the fire service.
- Battalion Chief Golden, Engineer/Paramedic Ford, and Communications Coordinator Omoomy are working to create a recruitment video showcasing the uniqueness of the area we serve.
- HR Manager Paterson is working with Novato and other resources to get more information on promotional and hiring practices.
- Captain Avila has continued to work with Chief Peterson and research independently the costs associated with beginning a career in the fire service and what other fire departments are offering.
- Captain Powers is looking into presenting opportunities with the District to Santa Rosa’s Fire Academy members.
- Fire Prevention Specialist Ramiro is working with local schools and neighboring agencies/departments to create educational and community outreach opportunities.
- Fire Foundry - The Marin County Fire Chiefs have partnered with several organizations to implement a recruitment and entry-level program for candidates who may not normally have considered the fire services as a career, or may face impediments (such as financial), to pursuing a fire service career. Our partners include Marin County, the Conservation Corps, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, MWPA, FireSafe Marin, Marin City Community Development Corps, Marin County Office of Education, the College of Marin, NorCal Women Fire Service, and IAFF 1775. Staff will present a more detailed report about this exciting program at an upcoming SMFD Board meeting. The program is designed to provide wrap-around services to candidates in their pursuit of a fire service career. Learn more about Fire Foundry.
- Digital Marin - Digital Marin recently released the Version 2 draft of the Strategic Plan, for comment and review. Digital Marin aims to narrow the gap wherein underserved residents miss out on fair opportunities because of a lack of technological tools or skills.
Other Community Partners
- Chamber of Commerce- Update on Supporting Financial Empowerment & Business Education Initiatives for BIPOC Entrepreneurs - At their February 2021 meeting the City Council directed City staff to engage the Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce in a leadership role in researching and developing options for supporting financial empowerment and business education initiatives for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) entrepreneurs.
The Chamber continues to work closely with a number of organizations to expand opportunities to the entire business community, with a targeted focus on those BIPOC-owned and managed businesses that are seeking additional resources to develop and grow their business. Here are some ongoing updates on that work.
- County of Marin - Demystifying Affordable Housing Through A Racial Justice Lens; Part 2: How Did Marin County Get to be So White? - Saturday, November 20, 2021 - 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM - In this series, Showing up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Marin and Marin County Free Libraries are teaming up to explore our difficult history with race and housing by looking at the issues in front of us, the history behind them, and possible solutions to this growing problem all through the lens of Social Justice. Learn more and register.