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‘Diversity Commission’ Approved by Kennewick City Council

City Council votes to create diversity commission  (City of Kennewick)
City Council votes to create diversity commission (City of Kennewick)

Although the actual boycott threat of Columbia Center and surrounding businesses was only made by basically a group of four citizens, the city council has decided to create a ‘diversity commission’ anyway.

In the wake of a controversial meme’ posted on the private Facebook page of Councilman Bob Parks, several so-called community leaders told the city they were going to try to organize a boycott of Columbia Center and corridor businesses when Parks refused to resign, and the council did not remove him.

The ‘community leaders’ still remain largely anonymous. Although their names are well known for the personal roles they have taken in the community, there’s been NO evidence of any capability of them organizing a boycott. Rick Rios and several others claimed to have the support of “regional” groups but they backed away from the boycott after a firestorm of negative public comments, especially in social media.

There is virtually no information available publicly about who these ‘community leaders’ represent, they operate in apparent secrecy out of public view.

But in a move that many view as a ‘preemptive’ measure, the council voted to create the commission. Four members voted yes along with Mayor Steve Young, but three members were not present.

According to Mayor Young, the tasks of the commission include: (bold lettering added for emphasis and explanation later).

  • To engage with residents and businesses at the neighborhood level
  • Identify where the public views we have gaps based on the diversity of our population.
  • Determine where the city needs to improve communication and/or enhance services based upon input.
  • Identify ways that the city can better promote diversity and encourage more citizens to consider running for city council positions, participate in the many city boards and commissions, or apply for city employment
  • After one year will present recommendations to the council on how to best engage our citizens so that adequate input regarding policy matters involving diversity.

The bolded phrases are especially important, if you are to cut through the political-speak. Critics are already saying this is setting the City up for policies and procedures that will be decided and determined by small but vocal groups that do not represent the general public.

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