FINAL CHANCE FOR EQUITY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE FEEDBACK THIS THURSDAY
September 29 workshop wraps up public comment on General Plan Element
WHAT: Equity and Social Justice Element Community Workshops
Thursday September 29, 5:30 - 7:30pm
Patriotic Hall (Luckie Park) 5885 Luckie Avenue, Twentynine Palms
The Equity and Social Justice Element initiative and workshop, which incorporates several topics proposed for the City’s General Plan, evolved from a nationwide movement to declare racism a public health crisis. Starting in 2019 and accelerated by inequities exposed by the COVID pandemic, several government entities passed resolutions declaring racism a public health crisis. Locally the San Bernardino Board of Supervisors passed a resolution in June 2020 and the Morongo Basin Healthcare District followed in July 2020. Nationally a bill was introduced in Congress in April 2021.
In October 2021, the Twentynine Palms City Council, led by then Council person and now Mayor Karmolette O’Gilvie, passed their version of these resolutions: “denouncing xenophobia/racial injustice and strengthening commitment to racial equity/ diversity and affirming xenophobia as a public health crisis.” At the time Council voted, it was believed that an Element addressing Equity was required in the City’s general plan since Twentynine Palms is considered a “disadvantaged City”. Inquiries made for our recent article exposed differences on what qualifies a City as disadvantaged and it’s now unclear whether including an Equity and Social Justice Element in the City’s General Plan is required. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea.
The resolution wording led a recent Desert Trail article on the Workshop to emphasize equity as a “minority” issue — but in many rural areas, especially Twentynine Palms, there are also access issues based on income, age and gender. For instance, we are fortunate that our elected City Council ALMOST looks like our City –– the one area where it really falls short is gender representation –– whereas City Council has appointed a Planning Commission that does not resemble our City, with four of five members presenting as white, and again just one woman serving. The workshop is an opportunity for a diversity of residents to provide input on education, food, health, housing, public services and transportation.
For images and resident comments from the September 15 workshop please see our article, WHY ATTENDING THE EQUITY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE WORKSHOP IS SO IMPORTANT.