Vermont League of Cities and Towns
Equity Committee Meeting
January 18, 2022
Via Zoom and in VLCT Offices
Members Present: (attended remotely) Co-Chair Elaine Wang, VLCT Board member Co-Chair Lucrecia Wonsor, Brian Carroll, Joy Dubin Grossman, Ellen Kaye, Amanda Smith, Sasha Thayer, Al Voegele, and Deborah Wright.
Others Present: VLCT staff (attended remotely unless otherwise noted) Executive Director Ted Brady (in person), Municipal Assistance Center Director Abigail Friedman, Public Policy and Advocacy Director Karen Horn, Human Resources Director Jessica Hill, Executive Administrative Assistant Linda Mahns. Equity Consultants Dr. Wanda Heading-Grant and Nikki Fuller.
Agenda Item #1: Call to order by the Chair. Elaine Wang called the meeting to order at 1:04 p.m.
Agenda Item #2: Additions and deletions to the Agenda. No additions or deletions were made to the agenda.
Agenda Item #3: Approval of the December 20, 2021 Minutes. Elaine Wang asked for a motion to approve December’s minutes. Joy Dubin Grossman motioned to approve the as is and Lucrecia Wonsor seconded. Minutes were approved unanimously.
Agenda Item #4: Vision for Equity. Wanda Heading-Grant and Nikki Fuller asked the committee and staff to spend a little time sharing and describing the images and/or quotes that provide inspiration for the equity work in this committee as well as in communities. This will be used for a collage at a later time.
Agenda Item #5 Adopt Draft Statement of Equity and Racial Justice. Elaine Wang asked the committee for its final consensus on possible changes to this draft statement. These documents will all be a part of an Equity Tool Kit for other municipalities to use as references and/or templates for their own equity committees. Minor changes include adding “Belonging” wherever Justice, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion occur in this document (and all documents moving forward) and adding a definition of the phrase “Cultural Humility” at the bottom of this document (and on the Definitions document.) Al Voegele made a motion to adopt the statement as revised today. Deborah Wright seconded. Approved unanimously.
- Action item: The equity consultants were asked to bring a definition of “cultural humility” to the February 22nd meeting.
Agenda Item #6: VLCT Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan Framework. Ted Brady asked for feedback on the Framework Pillars specifically, asking about the order they are in and if the eight pillars are adequately representing the foundations that will be used to help develop an action plan. These documents will all be a part of an Equity Tool Kit for other municipalities to use as references and/or templates for their own equity committees. There was consideration of a ninth pillar named possibly “Awareness and Acknowledgment.” The word “Justice” and “Belonging” is to be added where it currently lists “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” within the document. Acronyms are asked to be removed, as in “(DEIB).” Elaine Wang asked if this document can be updated with revisions thus far and sent out again to all committee members to review with the intention to potentially approve at the February 22nd meeting.
- Action item: Committee members and Staff are asked to review amended document with the intention to potentially adopt at the February 22nd meeting.
Agenda Item #7: Action Plan Brainstorming. Elaine Wang asked committee members and staff to provide feedback on any goals, action items, or other tactical information for VLCT to assist in developing equity into the strategic planning process in preparation for the February 22nd meeting.
- Action item: Committee members and Staff are asked to review the brainstorming document and add anything notes or comments about other tactical information, action items, and/or goals that would be used for strategic planning purposes.
Agenda Item #8: Recruitment of New Members. A request was made to see if volunteers wished to come forward to serve on a Recruitment Sub-Committee. Elaine Wang and Al Voegele stepped up as volunteers. Ted Brady would serve as the staff representative for this sub-committee. Deborah Wright made a motion to approve these volunteers to the sub-committee. Joy Dubin Grossman seconded. Approved unanimously.
Agenda Item #8: Other Business.
- A poll will be emailed out to equity committee members to potentially reconsider meeting schedule
- Karen Horn updated the committee on recent approval of $200K for an equity program launch
- Lucrecia Wonsor will chair the next meeting. Elaine Wang and Lucrecia Wonsor will take turns chairing these meetings going forward
The committee will meet next on Tuesday, February 22, 2022, from 1-2:30 p.m.
Without any other business items to discuss, Elaine Wang asked for a motion to adjourn. Lucrecia Wonsor made the motion to adjourn, and Joy Dubin Grossman seconded. The meeting adjourned at 2:33 p.m. without objection.
Executive Administrative Assistant