You might not have heard of it, but it's a fairly new addition to the City of Kennewick.

In the wake of some news and other events and happenings in the city and the Mid-Columbia, Kennewick officials have created the new Diversity Commission.

They're holding an Open House Wednesday at City Hall and the public is urged to stop by and check it out.

The root of the idea began in 2016 after Councilman Bob Parks posted a meme on his personal non-city Facebook that certain ethnic groups felt was offensive. A group calling itself the Latino Commission threatened to 'boycott' Columbia Center, but then the city decided to create the commission.  Parks said his meme' was about illegal immigration, not aimed at legal immigrants.

Many in the community felt even if the boycott were held, it's effect on the shopping center would have been negligible.

The Commission will hold an open house at City Hall Wednesday at 4:30pm, and is asking for public input and for people to consider becoming involved. Their regular meetings, according to the City website, are at 6:30pm. Since their last meeting April 12, no upcoming meeting is listed.

Supporters say it's important to determine opinions and gain input from various ethnic groups in the community. Critics say it was a knee-jerk reaction to a situation, and the ulterior motive is to use the idea as a special interest method to shape and control public policy.

The commission will meet for one year, as well as take public input with surveys available online, then present their findings to the City Council.


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