CW’s diversity and equity resolution moves ahead

By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

Moved by world and local events and the concerns of citizens, Canal Winchester City Council is moving forward with a final resolution affirming diversity, equity and inclusion.

The resolution was removed from tabled status for consideration after months of discussion with residents and a recent meeting with the Franklin County Health Department.

“We three (council members Jill Amos, Pat Lynch and Chuck Milliken) had a Zoom meeting with the board of health last week,” said Amos on May 3. “I thought it was a great meeting. We were able to ask a lot of questions we had regarding our resolution. Out of that, the three of us looked at some suggestions they made and looked at what we felt we could commit to at this time. That’s the final version we sent for review.”

The county board previously declared racism a public health crisis. The city wanted to follow suit by making the same declaration tailored for Canal Winchester, and sought advice from the county.

While language was previously drafted, council waited until it could meet directly with the county for guidance.

“One of the items in the resolution they encouraged us to do was to have an annual diversity report,” said Amos. “We did not feel that was something we could commit to as city council members.”

However, Amos said the suggestion was forwarded to the mayor to discuss with his staff to determine if it should be added to the resolution in the future.

“We believe we have a version to put forward,” Amos said.

Milliken said there was also a suggestion to explain the city’s stance on the language of race/human race more clearly. He said it was the goal from the start to make the resolution something unifying and positive.

“Diversity, equity and inclusion is something I’m sure you’ll be hearing a lot more about (on a national level) and is one of the changes we made, especially to the title, and is referred throughout this whole document,” said Lynch.

The resolution was also sent to city attorney Thad Boggs prior to the council meeting for review.

“We want to thank the community that has spoken up and given some input, telephone calls and porch time and the recommendations that some of the committee members made to work with the board of health,” said Amos. “I know this is important to our community.”

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