City Council Establishes Unity Council on Permanent Basis to Continue Work to Promote Equity, Equality in Arlington
By Susan Schrock, Office of Communication
Posted on June 16, 2021, June 16, 2021

Citizen Boards and Commissions

The Arlington City Council voted Tuesday to establish the Unity Council as a standing committee and to continue the Community Relations Commission with a revised membership and mission.

Arlington residents who are interested in serving on the Unity Council or the Community Relations Commission must submit an application by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 6, 2021. Please click here to fill out an application, which is available through a link at the bottom of the page.

About the Unity Council:

The City Council created the citizen-led Unity Council one year ago to gather community input, research best practices and recommend strategies that the City of Arlington could implement to promote and encourage greater equity and to advance unity across our community. The 28-member Unity Council concluded its work in February when it presented a proposed racial equity plan to the City Council. Among the Unity Council’s many recommendations is the creation of a permanent task force charged with directly engaging local residents, organizations, and institutions on matters regarding race, ethnicity, and other forms of diversity.

This week, the City Council voted to establish the Unity Council as a 10-member standing committee, including one youth representative.

The Unity Council’s responsibilities will include monitoring the implementation of the Unity Council Report issued in February 2021, including monitoring City departmental equity and equality efforts, and advancing unity in the city through communication, education, and programming. Other tasks include making additional recommendations to the City Council designed to promote equity and equality; eliminate racism and other forms of discrimination; and identify ways to support the needs of diverse communities. This includes but is not limited to individuals with disabilities, LGBT individuals, and senior or aging individuals. The Unity Council will also promote equity progress through bi-annual updates to the City’s Chief Equity Officer and City Council, and at other City events and community meetings.

Click here to learn more about the Unity Council.

About the Community Relations Commission

The City Council also updated the membership of the Community Relations Commission from 15 members to nine members and modified its mission. The responsibilities of this advisory board include fostering, understanding and promoting amicable relations among all persons and groups in the city, coordinating with city departments to promote activities and programs, and promoting the importance of volunteerism to support diverse community needs. The commission is also tasked with promoting positive aspects of competing for City contracts among historically underrepresented local business and work related to special projects referred to it by the City Council. Additionally, the commission develops, conducts, and promotes communication, education, and programming, related to its duties, including community engagement initiatives and key community events.

Community Relations Commission, Unity Council, Support Youth and Families
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