Officials and Guests in Attendance
All Council members were present except V. Khan. In addition some City staff were present, the Chief of Police and Kelly-Rae from a consulting company. Council members seemed prepared, attentive, and courteous.
Accessing the Meeting and Materials
The meeting started on time. I observed the entire meeting. The agenda was available and the meeting was easily accessible.
Summary of Discussion
This meeting was a study session covering two topics.
1. Review of "Redmond Conversation Toward Inclusion and Belonging"
Kelly-Rae gave an overview. There was a community listening session held on Nov 6,2020 and the summary of this meeting follows:
Opportunity Areas for Immediate Focus:
Next Steps — Recommendations suggested that the Redmond City Council should do in the near future:
Examples of Programs In Flight & Successes:
The listening session included 81 people. They were a mix of people who live, work, go to school, have a business and/or shop in Redmond. They were of varying ages, ethnicities, education backgrounds, etc.
V. Kritzer is interested in having a town hall for a two way conversation. Also, she would like the Council to have equity training.
J. Anderson wanted to know the status of the hiring of a DEI manager. (They are just starting to write the job description.). She was also interested in feedback on economic equity. (Kelly-Rae said affordability of the City was an issue - affordable housing.)
J. Forsythe was also interested in a community conversation and wanted to know more about what the Eastside Change Coalition was doing. She urged the Council that now was the time they put together an action plan to address some of these issues.
S. Fields also said they needed a town hall to have dialog and build trust with the community. He wanted to know if people felt safe in Redmond - especially black women.
Kelly-Rae said that the Council could do something. They can stand together as one voice and call things out when they see things that are not equitable. This would send a strong message.
V. Kritzer agreed that they needed to work on an action plan and looked forward to getting the DEI manager on board. She said we need to bring a racial equity lens to all of the Council's work.
J. Anderson wanted to know how she can be effective in putting social equity and social justice front and center.
Kelly-Rae said that she and the Council needed to lean in and not be afraid of moral values.
J. Forsythe wanted to know more about the Eastside Change Coalition. She also wanted to know if the people involved in the Seeds program should be approved by the Council.
D. Carson said they had a lot of cultural events and was surprised by the feedback on this. He was wondering if the town needed to do a better job of advertising the events they offered.
Kelly-Rae said the feedback was that they were looking for more diverse events. Also the town should be more welcoming to BIPOC businesses.
J. Anderson wanted to know if there was any transportation feedback and Kelly-Rae said nothing specific - just that they were looking forward to the light rail expansion and further expansion of bus services.
2. City of Redmond Utilities Strategic Plan
An overview of the Utilities Department was shared and a draft of their strategic plan to be approved at a later meeting. The department consists of four areas: 1. water; 2. storm water; 3. waste water; and 4. solid waste and recycling. There are 93 staff that work in the following areas: maintenance and operations; technology and science; project delivery and engineering; business management; and pollution, prevention, environment planning.
J. Anderson asked them if they have reviewed/developed the plan with an equity lens. What is the definition of equity for the public works industry? She liked the layout of the plan.
D. Juarez said the document was a flexible and living document and they would work with the DEI manager when he/she is on board.
J. Anderson said she would like the update cycle for the plan to be included in the next draft.
J. Forsythe wanted to know if the plan was aligned with the climate goals.
V. Kritzer wanted to know about recycling education as the recycling rules are changing/have changed. Also she wanted to know about performance measures and rates as water rates are very high.
Rates are developed from infrastructure costs and the costs associated with purchasing water.
At the end of the meeting there was time for Council discussion.
J. Anderson wanted to know how the planning for the Council retreat was going. Right now they are planning on 3, 2 1/2 hour sessions but the dates have not been determined yet.
J. Kritzer wanted to know if the town could put some money towards the vaccination effort. The town is not giving vaccinations but perhaps they could partner with one of the organizations giving them.
The meeting ended near 9pm.