Vermont League of Cities and Towns
Equity Committee Meeting
February 22, 2022
Via Zoom and in VLCT Offices
Members Present: (attended remotely) Co-Chair Elaine Wang, VLCT Board member Co-Chair Lucrecia Wonsor, Joy Dubin Grossman, Ellen Kaye, Marguerite Ladd, Amanda Smith, Sasha Thayer, Al Voegele, and Deborah Wright.
Others Present: VLCT staff (attended remotely unless otherwise noted) Executive Director Ted Brady, Public Policy and Advocacy Director Karen Horn, Human Resources Director Jessica Hill (in person), Executive Administrative Assistant Linda Mahns (in person), and Equity Consultant 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. Agenda numbers 6 and 7 were asked to be brought to the top (just after item #3) as Nikki Fuller could not attend the entire meeting. There were no objections to this reorganization of the agenda.
Agenda Item #3: Approval of the January 18, 2021 Minutes. Elaine Wang asked for a motion to approve January’s minutes. Deborah Wright motioned to approve the as is and Lucrecia Wonsor seconded. Minutes were approved unanimously.
Agenda Item #6: VLCT Equity Toolkit. Elaine Wang asked committee members to provide feedback on items in the toolkit. Members discussed some definitions that were added for Belonging, Cultural Humility, and Justice. A new proposed definition of Justice: “Directly dismantling barriers to resources and opportunities in society so that all individuals in communities can live a full and dignified life.” A definition for Cultural Humility was added as “A conscious, lifelong process of self-reflection and self-critique that allows one to learn about others’ cultures, beginning with an examination of our own beliefs and cultural identities.” A possible definition of Racial Justice [is defined] as the “proactive reinforcement of policies, practices, attitudes and actions that produce equitable power, access, opportunities, treatment, impacts and outcomes for all.” Ted Brady reviewed an updated version of the onboarding packet with committee members, sharing up-to-date revisions made.
Action Item: Committee members are asked to finalize the definitions and other toolkit documentation at the next meeting.
Agenda Item #7: Action Plan. Nikki Fuller presented the 3-year draft equity strategic plan outline for VLCT’s use. This outline was compiled based on the brainstorming that has already occurred in these meetings and this document is intended to be a “living document.” 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. Items were added to a SharePoint document during the meeting and members were asked to read over and review for added list items.
Action item: Committee members and Staff are asked to review the brainstorming document and finalize the list for the preparation of a work session devoted to creating the timeline.
Action items: Committee members agreed that all VLCT equity-related documents are required to include “Belonging” and Justice” to headers and bodies of work, where relevant (where it currently lists out Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the header/body.) Also, committee members agreed that all VLCT equity-related documents should spell out acronyms for information clearly stated to a broad spectrum of people. (Example: instead of the acronym of DEI in documentation, please spell out “belonging, diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice” for all toolkit documentation headers and within the body as well.)
Agenda Item #4: Member Updates. This item was tabled due to lack of time.
Agenda Item #5 Update from the Executive Director: This item was tabled due to lack of time.
Agenda Item #8: Recruitment Committee Update. Elaine Wang gave an update on Recruitment Committee topics that were discussed recently. A call for recruitment will be occurring soon and onboarding packets will be provided to new members. Current committee members who wish to stay active can do so. If any current committee members wish to resign, please contact Ted Brady. If any previous members are considered for recruitment, kindly consult the recruitment committee first. Otherwise, please feel free to extend invitations for volunteers.
Agenda Item #9: Other Business. The committee will meet next on Monday, March 21, 2022, from 1-2:30 p.m.
Agenda Item #10: Adjourn. Elaine Wang asked for a motion to adjourn. Deborah Wright made the motion to adjourn, and Lucrecia Wonsor seconded. The meeting adjourned at 2:33 p.m. without objection.
Executive Administrative Assistant