Skip to comments.Task force labeled liberal
Posted on 11/19/2003 1:15:47 PM PST by Kudsman
AUBURN - Mayor-elect Tim Lattimore and members of the Mayor's Social Justice Task Force agreed Tuesday that members of the volunteer group that looks into racism and related issues should itself be more diverse. Lattimore told members Tuesday he's concerned the task force is represented by individuals with a liberal viewpoint and that it had no conservative representation.
The mayor-elect met with some of the group's 21 members Tuesday to talk about his feeling about the task force and his plans for it once he takes office Jan. 1. Lattimore said he's not against having the task force, but he doesn't want such a group to be divisive in the community. "I think most people sitting here are liberal, and I think there should be a balance," Lattimore said in urging more conservatives and moderates to join.
During his mayoral campaign, Lattimore questioned whether city government should be involved in the task force and thought it might better fit with local church leaders. He has also wondered whether it was a good idea to have a group that didn't have a clear goal or set procedures to achieve a goal.
The task force began soon after Mayor Melina Carnicelli was elected four years ago, Councilor Chuck Mason sponsored the legislation at the time. Some critics have said the group had too many of the same political leanings as the Democratic mayor. Others have also criticized the task force for not for not doing more to address racism in the city. "I don't care what you call it," said co-chairwoman Laurel Ulyette, in arguing a need for such a group to ensure "social justice for everyone."
Asked if he had anyone in mind for serving on the task force, Lattimore suggested one of the three men he defeated in the Nov. 4 election, Conservative Greg Rigby, who is the party's county chairman. Contacted Tuesday, Rigby said he's not interested, citing that he believes Lattimore was right when he said a church group, and not City Hall, should be in charge of such an enterprise.
Since it was formed, the task force has been meeting monthly to talk about racism and diversity issues in the community. The group spent its first year organizing and then went to work, Ulyette said. "This is a long, slow process to begin with," she said. The task force sponsored a program for the community to read the same book, Ernest Gaines novel "A Lesson Before Dying," about a Georgia teacher who befriends a wrongfully convicted death row prisoner in 1948. They have also been sponsoring community-wide dialogue groups, where people from divergent backgrounds talk about their feelings on race, diversity and equality. In recent months, the task force has been trying to get the Auburn city school district to hire more minorities and institute diversity training. The task force now has six vacancies. Council approves the appointments.
Except for a $6,000 grant for the county-wide dialogues, the city doesn't providing funding.
Libs want specific areas to cut from the budget when facing shortfalls. I'd say we just found $6,000.
Council approves the appointments.
FYI, the council make up was three Dem councilmen and one Dem Mayor vs. one Republican councilman.
Loony council member #1: "Isn't racism bad?"
Loony councile member #2: "Why yes, yes it is. Cheese log?"
America is Dead.
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