Vermont League of Cities and Towns
Equity Committee Meeting
July 18, 2022 – Via Zoom
Members Present: Co-Chair Elaine Wang, VLCT Board member Co-Chair Lucrecia Wonsor, Brian Carroll, Ellen Kaye, Marguerite Ladd, Kathleen Ramsay, Amanda Smith, Al Voegele, and Deborah Wright.
Others Present: VLCT staff: Executive Director Ted Brady, Abby Friedman, Karen Horn, Jessica Hill, and Linda Mahns.
Agenda Item #1: Call to order by the Chair.
Elaine Wang called the meeting to order at 1:05 p.m.
Agenda Item #2: Additions and deletions to the Agenda.
Elaine Wang asked if there were any changes needed to be made to the agenda and no changes were made.
Agenda Item #3: Approval of the June 21, 2022 minutes.
Elaine Wang asked for motions to approve the minutes. Ellen Kaye made a motion to approve the June 21, 2022 minutes as presented. Brian Carroll seconded. Approved unanimously.
Agenda Item #4: Executive Director Update.
Ted Brady gave an update on the Welcoming and Engaging Communities Kick off that offers 15 communities participation in an equity cohort program from Abundant Sun, the Equity Toolkit which has been posted online plus a draft press release that will announce these first two offerings, a comprehensive summary from Workplace Matters, Policy Committee updates as it relates to equity, Environmental Justice Advisory Council Appointment, and Town Fair. Ted asked for all Committee members to share this information out with their Selectboard members and Trustees as well as to like these items on social media in an effort to bring more awareness to these programs and offerings. Elaine Wang asked for a small update to the press release to indicate the large contribution Workplace Matters added to this committee.
From this discussion, a working group was planned for the October meeting to continue moving ahead with the Work Plan. With regards to the Policy Committee update, Karen Horn asked everyone to consider sending ideas for items to be presented in the Legislature. Ted also asked for nominations for the Environmental Justice Advisory Council which will comprise of eleven members including one representative of municipal government appointed by the committee on committees. The Committee was asked for ideas for panel discussions on the subject of Equity that will highlight the positive progress being made as well as the challenges municipalities face during Town Fair in early October. The committee asked that Ted poll municipal equity committees for presentation ideas, and to solicit panel participants. Elaine Wang, Brian Carroll, and Kathleen Ramsay offered to meet to help vet the proposals in August.
Agenda Item #: Discussion Meeting Times and Review Schedule Polling.
Linda Mahns presented the poll results to the Committee that showed the most popular meeting date/time was the third Monday of the month at noon. Elaine Wang asked for a motion to approve the meeting day/time to be changed to Monday at noon until October 2022. Al Voegele made the motion. Deborah Wright seconded. Approved unanimously.
Agenda Item #6: Discuss financial compensation for VLCT Board committees.
Ted Brady provided some background on this idea of compensation for all VLCT Board committees. A discussion occurred to gather thoughts and consensus for $75/meeting to be paid for meetings that are over 1 hour in length, plus providing mileage reimbursement for in-person meeting attendance. There were questions on timing, opting in/out ease, checking in with lawyers or insurance for any potential tax or insurance implications. The overall consensus was to offer these stipends to all VLCT Board committees. Ted said he’d bring a draft policy to the September or October committee meeting.
Agenda Item #7: Member updates.
Marguerite Ladd updated the Committee that Essex has been working with a community group to create a Policing Advisory Board; they have scheduled a second meeting and the Police Chief plus second in command will be in attendance. Elaine Wang updated that Winooski offered a BIPOC vaccine clinic for children to receive the vaccine as well as ordered an allotment of testing kits to be handed out at the testing clinic in Winooski as well as in housing developments. Winooski has also offered listening sessions with translators on site to assist in communication for this community. Ellen Kaye of Barre City and Kathleen Ramsay of Middlebury both shared their communities held their first pride celebrations recently. Deborah Wright of Bellows Falls also spoke of an event recently had with the Abenaki and Mohawk communities that occurred 2-3 weeks ago.
Agenda Item #8: Proposal to cancel August meeting.
Elaine Wang asked for a motion to cancel the August meeting. Deborah Wright made the motion. Marguerite Ladd seconded. Approved unanimously.
Agenda Item #9: Other Business.
The next Equity Committee meeting is scheduled for September 19th from noon to 1:30 p.m.
Agenda Item #10: Adjourn.
Elaine Wang asked for a motion to adjourn. Ellen Kaye made the motion. Al Voegele seconded. The meeting adjourned at 2:22 p.m. without objection.
Executive Administrative Assistant