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City’s Diversity Task Force Recommends Expanded Naming Choices

At its May meeting, Santa Clara’s Diversity Task Force reviewed additions to the City’s policy for naming City properties and geographic areas that will be recommended to the City Council. [Revised Naming Policy 2021]

The point of these changes is ensuring that “decisions on naming opportunities are made in an equitable and consistent manner and that the naming actions maintain current and future alignment with the City’s Mission Statement and Code of Ethics and Values.”

Population information and the contributions of underrepresented groups are among the new additions, as well as “Opportunities to foster a more welcoming, equitable, and inclusive environment.” These considerations also apply to renaming City places and properties.

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Place names can also be changed if it’s found that individuals for whom the facilities are named are later found to have violated the City’s Code of Ethics and Values or Mission Statement.

However, “renaming of existing municipal buildings/facilities shall be discouraged and shall occur only under extraordinary circumstances, after thorough study,” the policy says.

The remainder of the meeting was devoted to the procedures for conducting listening sessions and whether or not domestic violence was part of the Task Force’s mission. Deputy City Attorney Luis Haro warned the committee that it has no authority to act on requests to recommend censure for City Council Members — it has now received two.

After committee members voiced how deeply they felt about domestic violence as a social problem, they asked City liaison Jennifer Yip to provide a list of domestic violence resources they could distribute. Two committee members were assigned the job of explaining to correspondents the boundaries of the committee’s assignment.

The Diversity and Inclusion Task Force will meet next on June 14, 2021 at 7 pm. Meetings are currently being conducted on Zoom. For more information, visit www.santaclaraca.gov/our-city/government/city-committees/task-force-on-diversity-equity-and-inclusion. You can also email the committee at EquityTaskForce@SantaClaraCA.gov.

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