Vermont League of Cities and Towns
Equity Committee Meeting
December 19, 2022 – Via Zoom
Members Present: Co-Chair Elaine Wang, VLCT Board member Co-Chair Lucrecia Wonsor (arrived at 12:30 p.m.), Brian Carroll, Cate Cross, Joy Dubin-Grossman, Alyssa Johnson (left at 1 p.m.), Ellen Kaye, Charles Keir, Kathleen Ramsay, Amanda Smith (left at 1 p.m.), Al Voegele, and Deborah Wright.
Others Present: VLCT staff: Executive Director Ted Brady, Abby Friedman, Jessica Hill, Karen Horn, and Jude Smith Rachele of Abundant Sun (12:15-12:46 p.m.)
Agenda Item #1: Call to order by the Chair. Co-Chair Elaine Wang called the meeting to order at 12:13 p.m.
Agenda Item #2: Additions and Deletions to the Agenda. Elaine Wang asked if there were any changes or additions to be added or to entertain a motion to adopt this agenda as is. Joy Dubin-Grossman moved to accept the agenda and Alyssa Johnson seconded. The motion was adopted unanimously.
Agenda Item #3: Approval of the October 17, 2022, Minutes. Deborah Wright motioned to accept the October 17th minutes as drafted. Brian Carroll seconded the motion. The motion was adopted unanimously.
Agenda Item #4: Perspectives on Municipal Equity Work with Jude Smith Rachele of Abundant Sun. Jude Smith Rachele provided an update on the VLCT Welcoming and Engaging Communities Cohort and her insights on equity work in municipalities. Amanda Smith asked Jude to share any surprises Jude noticed working with municipalities. Jude shared her thoughts on the need for more historical context and knowledge in municipal work. Ellen Kaye asked when the cohort might open to more participants. Jude said VLCT and Abundant Sun are considering a cohort later this year, maybe in the fall. Deborah Wright asked about how to get towns reluctant to talk about equity to engage. Jude encouraged municipalities to open the conversation and for there to be many on ramps to this work. Elaine stressed the important of convening municipal equity committees for shared learning and networking.
Agenda Item #5: Review the Draft Equity Work Plan for 2023. Elaine asked committee members to share their top priorities from the draft workplan. Al Voegele said unconscious bias training. Brian Carroll said awareness and introspection. Amanda said convening equity committees from across the state, equity awareness curriculum, hiring best practices, and better ways to empower groups doing the work. Cate Cross said continuing to offer Town Fair equity tracts on equity, training throughout the year, and funding for communities to do this work. Alyssa Johnson said running the Welcoming and Engaging Communities Cohort again (but changing restrictive requirements). Elaine then said she sensed four themes in the priorities: networking, tools, training, and money. The committee took a straw poll and prioritized the four headers in this order: 1) Tools 2) Training 3) Networking 4) Money. The group then moved on to agenda item 6 while Ted Brady reorganized the draft workplan to meet the new prioritization. After completion of Agenda Item #6, the group discussed the reorganized workplan attached to these minutes.
Agenda Item #6: Review of VLCT DEI Assessment. Jessi Hill provided an overview of the 2022 VLCT DEI Assessment completed by VLCT staff.
Agenda Item #7: Member Updates. Tabled for this meeting.
Agenda Item #8: Other Business. The next Equity Committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 17, 2023 from 12:00 to 1:30 pm.
Agenda Item #9: Adjourn. Deborah Wright motioned to adjourn at 1:34 p.m. Kathleen Ramsey seconded the motion. It was adopted unanimously.
VLCT Executive Director
VLCT Executive Director