Diversity, inclusion, and belonging are topics that come up frequently. What does that mean to you? How do you see incorporating those principles as a Select Board member?
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are concepts that are important to me. In my professional life, I have tried to be a strong advocate for under-represented communities. I’ve fought for stronger protections and benefits for LGBTQ+ coworkers and leveraged my position in IT to ensure that cultural differences in names and naming conventions are respected in corporate systems.
In a municipal environment, there are additional challenges. Ensuring everyone has an equal voice is important, and as a Select Board, it’s important to ensure that policies and changes don’t have a disproportionate or unintended impact on any part of our community.
It’s also important to recognize one’s own blindspots, and to listen to others with a different lived experience. The Town’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee unfortunately has yet to meet, but is tasked with drafting a report of findings and recommendations with guidance on topics that need to be addressed in town. I would look to renew the committee past their initial one-year charge, currently set to expire in June, and make this a permanent Committee (which should meet regularly).