Vermont League of Cities and Towns
Equity Committee Meeting
April 4, 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, Marguerite Ladd, Amanda Smith, Al Voegele, and Deborah Wright.
Others Present: VLCT staff (attended remotely unless otherwise noted) Executive Director Ted Brady (in person), Abby Friedman, Jessica Hill, and Linda Mahns.
Agenda Item #1: Call to order by the Chair. Elaine Wang called the meeting to order at 1:03 p.m.
Agenda Item #2: Additions and deletions to the Agenda. No changes were indicated for the agenda.
Agenda Item #3: Work Group – Discuss, Build, and Adopt Action Plan. Ted Brady recommended the Draft Action Plan be discussed collectively to see if any changes or additions need to be added so that the plan could potentially be adopted. Ted updated the draft document to reflect the modifications for Pillars 1 – 7. Pillars 8 & 9 will be discussed at the 4/18 meeting. Much of the theme was related to not only the action plan for VLCT but what to offer as suggestions/recommendations to towns for the toolkit.
- Pillar 1 – JDEIB Foundation & Infrastructure – discussion on stipends and how to address them (i.e. whether to have an Opt in/Opt out option and what suggestions might be included as recommendations for municipalities.
- Pillar 2 – Leadership & Accountability – suggestions were to include “Annual training for VLCT Board members” and “Add equity progress report.”
- Pillar 3 - Assessment & Evaluation – recommendations were to include self-evaluations and surveys in the toolkit, to hold ongoing JDEIB listening sessions as a way to measure progress, and to include VLCT Board assessments and evaluations in the Action Plan
- Pillar 4 – Equitable Employment Practices – change goal to read “Strengthen the organization by hiring individuals with a diversity of life and professional experience.” Elaine Wang shared two links to include in resources: https://www.vtpoc.net/ and "Hidden" workers resource: Hidden Workers: Untapped Talent Public Service | Accenture
- Pillar 5 – JDEIB Education & Training – suggestions were to include “Respect in the workplace” to one of the numbered bullets, to provide annual training to leaders and policy makers and offered “Understanding and managing systemic racism, power dynamics, and other forms of exclusion in municipal decision making” as bullet.
- Pillar 6 – Inclusive Work Environment – Add “And Retention.” Another recommendation was to use the feedback from this work as forums
- Pillar 7 – Inclusive Service & Engagement – discussion around surveys and polls in local municipalities spurred an addition to include an Equity Impact Assessment Tool to help communities evaluate the impact of their policies on their residents.
Agenda Item #4: Other Business. Al Voegele, committee members and staff congratulated Elaine Wang on her new role as Manager for the town of Winooski.
The Equity Nomination committee will meet on Tuesday, April 5th at 3 p.m. for a special meeting. The next regularly scheduled meeting for the whole committee is April 18, 2022, from 1-2:30 p.m.
Agenda Item #5: Adjourn. Elaine Wang asked for a motion to adjourn. Al Voegele made the motion and Deborah Wright seconded. The meeting adjourned at 2:30 p.m. without objection.
Executive Administrative Assistant