February 22, 2022
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.
Planning & Building
- Hamilton Drive - At their meeting on February 7, 2022, the City Council received a report on recommended next steps to build affordable rental housing on the Northern portion of 1 Hamilton Drive. To move the process forward, Council unanimously approved an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) between the City of Mill Valley and EAH Housing, a non-profit organization. Learn more about Hamilton Drive.
- Annual Report - The Planning Commission has issued its 2021 Annual Report, which they will present to Council on February 22, 2022. The report details the Commission’s efforts on DEI as it relates to housing availability, affordability, and fair housing.
- Housing Element - The Housing Advisory Committee hosted a very well attended workshop on February 16 to review scenarios to meet our regional housing needs requirements from the State. The workshop built upon the results from the recent community survey and provided further opportunity to hear from community members about their interests and priorities for identifying sites. We thank everyone for your participation! The next workshop will take place on March 30. Learn more about the Housing Element.
Recreation & Arts
- Annual Report - The Commission issued its 2021 Annual Report, which they will present to Council on February 22, 2022. The report details the Commission’s efforts on DEI and cites examples such as the Art Box, the DEI gallery space in Building B of the Community Center, and recent training.
Parks and Recreation Commission
- DEI Update- At their meeting on February 2, 2022, Parks and Recreation Commission received an update from Arts and Recreation Director Sean McGrew regarding:
- The swim lesson program, a partnership with Soma Aquatics and Play Marin, which has been very successful. McGrew shared that there are some other low-cost swim lesson community partnerships that are in the works.
- The JEDI Committee (Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion), which has met and discussed field stipulations and upcoming special events.
- Field Stipulations - At their February meeting, the Commission also adopted new changes to field use stipulations that would require each organization work with Mill Valley Recreation and the City of Mill Valley Parks & Recreation Commission to promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in local youth sport programs by mandating coaches and volunteers participate in ‘Sports Can Battle Racism’ training through the Positive Coaching Alliance or an equivalent training by the end of the year. Staff estimated this new stipulation will impact approximately 1,000 coaches in the community per year. The Parks and Recreation commission discussed the proposed change and gave their full support.
- Annual Report - The Commission issued its 2021 Annual Report, which they will present to Council on February 22, 2022. The report details the Commission’s efforts on DEI initiatives such as the new JEDI committee, adaptive play structures, an internship program, and the viability of a shuttle service to connect Marin City and Mill Valley Recreation opportunities.
- Black History Month - Head of Youth Services, Librarian Jasmyn Brown and History Room Librarian, Natalie Snoyman collaborated with Tam High School’s Black Student Union to host Black History Month program showcasing diverse crafts. Students crafted collages and made their own buttons reflecting People of Color from past and present. The program was held Tuesday, February 8th during Tam High School’s lunch hour. There was great turnout of an estimated 100 students and teachers that came and supported the cause. Both Librarians are hoping to continue a partnership with Tam’s BSU to do future Oral History project.
- Community Engagement - Police Staff continue to work with members of the community on a Bias by Proxy policy, updated anti-bias training, meeting with Tamalpais High School Superintendent and Principal to develop a Student Resource Officer Memorandum of Understanding, and Racial and Identity Profiling Act data.
- DEI Update - In January, the Southern Marin Fire District Board received a report regarding DEI initiatives, including the following:
- Development of an informational recruitment website and handout that details how to start a career in the fire service.
- Consideration of a potential training program partnership with Ecology Corp.
- Participation of several SMFD female employees at a Girl Scouts Fire Safety education event to provide information and role models for young girls.
- Upcoming Report - Southern Marin Fire District Board will receive a standalone report on February 23 (go to page 220) from the DEI Task Force Chair, McKenna Ramiro at the Annual Board Retreat. The report will propose specific elements of the DEI Initiative for the 2022/2023 fiscal year.
- Board Recruitment Update: In consultation with the City’s DEI Core Team, the City Clerk Department staff recently updated the language in their 2022 Annual Board, Commission and Committee recruitment outreach. The new language states:
The City is committed to promoting an equitable and inclusive environment that is welcoming to all who participate in municipal government. The City seeks diverse representation on its Boards, Commissions and Committees, and applicants from all backgrounds and life experiences are encouraged to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for appointment to the City’s various Boards, Commissions, and Committees.
The Clerk Team also reached out to a number of local community groups and organizations to expand and diversify the pool of volunteers to serve on our appointed bodies. This year yielded one of the highest number of applicants received on record, and we thank everyone who responded to the call to volunteer their time and expertise. Learn more about City Boards, Commissions and Committees.
- Leading for Equity and Inclusion - Eight employees from the City of Mill Valley and Southern Marin Fire District will participate in a five-session training to focus on leadership within their respective organizations. The training, “Leading for Equity and Inclusion,” is hosted by the Center for Volunteer and Non-Profit Leadership and designed for non-profit organizations and public agencies to help build capacity and skill for authentic inclusion, identify and dismantle harmful narratives and biased practiced rooted in our history, adopt personal leadership skills and style that make space for real belonging and inclusion, and develop a plan of action focused on organization needs.
Other Community Partners
- Marin County Free Library Showcases Black History - Variety of ‘Food for the Soul’ special events through February. The Black experience in Marin County, nationwide, and beyond, will be celebrated throughout February – Black History Month – by the Marin County Free Library (MCFL) staff. Learn more.
- Marin Women's Commission - Marin Teen Girl Conference - Registration is now open. This one-day conference hosts up to 350 girls between 8th -12th grade. There are 18 workshops spread over 3 sessions, along with 15+ exhibitors. These workshops and exhibitors have been chosen by this year's Teen Ambassadors, making this: A conference for girls by girls! Learn more: marinteengirls.org