TUCSON, Ariz. — Tucson Mayor Regina Romero is creating an advisory board to provide guidance on racial equity and justice matters.
The Mayoral Advisory Council on Racial Equity & Justice will consist of organizers, faith leaders and other community stakeholders.
The council will work to advance the Equity Needs Assessment, which the Tucson City Council passed Tuesday night.
Romero released this statement:
“In order to change and address systemic racism, we must re-examine the entire system,” said Mayor Romero. “Our single greatest strength as a city is our diversity; Tucsonans take pride in the fact that we are a culturally diverse and inclusive city with people from all different backgrounds. Yet social inequities that disproportionately affect historically marginalized communities persist.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the health and economic vulnerabilities of marginalized communities. The murder of George Floyd and so many of our Black brothers and sisters has highlighted the systemic racism that still pervades our country.”
“We must constantly challenge ourselves in ways that, at times, may make us feel uncomfortable. We can always do better: in the policies we set as Mayor & Council, in our police department, and as fellow Tucsonans. If we are ‘comfortable’ with where we’re at, we are doing something wrong. We must ensure that we are taking every step possible to address both the implicit and explicit biases within city government and the services we provide.”
According to a statement released by Romero's office, the board's duties will include:
- Reviewing and advising on policy recommendations that address disparities in housing, health, education, neighborhood investment, job training, and policing strategies that disproportionately affect communities of color.
- Ensuring an equity and justice lens is applied to current and future policy making and budget discussions, and assisting in the deconstruction of institutional racism.
- Engaging with the Police Chief's Advisory Council and the Community Police Advisory Review Board to advise the Mayor on issues and challenges in community-police relationships, and the strategies and programs found to be effective.