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Diversity Task Force Plans Surveys and Listening Sessions, Adds Youth and Senior Advisory Board

The April 12 meeting of the Santa Clara’s Task Force on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion was largely devoted to administrative business. The committee:

  • Discussed the logistics of listening sessions it plans to hold and of a survey on renaming Columbus Day
  • Established another subcommittee to appoint representatives from the Youth and Senior Commissions as task force advisors
  • Renamed the Columbus Day Re-naming sub-committee and assigned that committee the question of renaming parks.

Assistant Police Chief Wahid Kazem was asked whether Santa Clara has community patrols similar to San Jose’s Japantown volunteer patrols. Santa Clara does not.

However, Kazem said, if people are worried about their safety in specific situations, “We encourage folks to call 9-1-1 even if it’s only leaving their business late at night and they would like a patrol car to drive by.”

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Committee Member Andrew Knack has connections with the San Jose Japantown community group and will invite that group to talk about the Japantown program at a future task force meeting.

The task force received a letter from civil rights attorney Richard Konda about Council Member Kathy Watanabe’s controversial  #StopAsianHate incident, saying it was “an issue that should be of concern to the committee.”

“The issue has definitely been discussed at Council,” said Chair Darius Brown, who attended the event. “My experience with Council Member Watanabe [is that] she has definitely championed equity, diversity and inclusion,” and has committed time to these concerns.

“She definitely made a heartfelt apology [at the previous week’s Council meeting],” Brown said, “I want to commend Kathy for organizing that event.

“The message was clear,” he continued. “The people in Santa Clara won’t stand for hate against the AAPI community. That’s why we brought forward our resolution to the City Council,” he said, referring to a resolution passed at the March 23 Council meeting.

 

City Naming Policies

Santa Clara’s policy is to name public buildings, parks and other City facilities after:

  • People who have made significant contributions to the City or community
  • People who have made contributions of local, state, national, or worldwide significance
  • Geographic location, prominent environmental feature or historical significance, of the area where the facility’s located.

City staff reviews proposed names — for example, the Director of Parks and the Parks & Recreation Commission evaluate park names. The Governance and Ethics Committee reviews proposed facility names at a public meeting, and the City Council has the final say on adoption.

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion task force was formed last October and more information — including agendas, minutes and meeting recordings — is available at santaclaraca.gov and by emailing equitytaskforce@santaclaraca.gov. The committee welcomes recommendations and comments from the community.

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