Vermont League of Cities and Towns
Equity Committee Meeting
January 17, 2022 – Via Zoom
Members Present: Co-Chair Elaine Wang, VLCT Board member Co-Chair Lucrecia Wonsor, Joy Dubin-Grossman, Alyssa Johnson, Ellen Kaye, Charles Keir, Kathleen Ramsay, and Deborah Wright.
Others Present: VLCT staff: Executive Director Ted Brady, Abby Friedman, Jessica Hill, and Karen Horn
Agenda Item #1: Call to order by the Chair. Co-Chair Lucrecia Wonsor called the meeting to order at 12:05 p.m.
Agenda Item #2: Additions and Deletions to the Agenda. Lucrecia Wonsor asked if there were any changes or additions to be added or to entertain a motion to adopt this agenda as is. Kathleen Ramsey moved to approve the agenda as presented. Joy Dubin-Grossman moved to second. The motion was adopted unanimously.
Agenda Item #3: Approval of the December 19, 2022, Minutes. Kathleen Ramsey motioned to accept the December 19th minutes as drafted. Joy Dubin-Grossman seconded the motion. The motion was adopted unanimously.
Agenda Item #4: VLCT Executive Director Update. Ted Brady shared that Linda Mahns is leaving VLCT effective 1/18/23; VLCT would be issuing an RFP for an equity consultant in the first quarter of 2023; that the Welcoming and Engaging Communities Cohort is halfway through the program and was presented with the data from the recent survey conducted by Abundant Sun; and that the Vermont Department of Health is conducting a two part webinar on February 14th and February 21st aimed at “Creating a Healthier Vermont: Advancing Health Equity Through Placemaking, Funding and Support”. Ellen Kaye requested that Ted consider sharing the survey data with the committee. Ted said he’d check with the consultant to ensure it was not proprietary data before sharing.
Agenda Item #5: Recommend 2023 Equity Committee Nominations to VLCT Board. Ellen Kaye moved to adopt the recommendation of the VLCT Equity Committee Nominations Committee, while directing Ted to reconvene the nominating committee to consider two additional nominees who did not get their materials in on time. Joy Dubin-Grossman seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously adopted.
Agenda Item #6: Adopt the Recommended 2023 Work Plan. Deborah Wright motioned to adopt the workplan as proposed. Chuck Keir seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously adopted.
Agenda Item #7: Discussion about the Committee's Role in the 2023 Work Plan. The committee discussed its role in executing the workplan. Several members expressed their desire for Ted to bring portions of the workplan back to the committee for advice, including Elaine’s desire to provide input on how VLCT employs the equity consultant, Lucrecia and Ellen’s desire to provide input on the equity impact assessment, Ellen shared she would like to participate in municipal equity convenings, and Alyssa asked Ted to provide a timeline for when items on the workplan would be undertaken. The committee discussed whether the committee should continue to meet monthly or whether it could reduce convenings. No decision was made to change the meeting schedule. Multiple members asked to provide additional time for member updates to provide shared learning.
Agenda Item #8: Member Updates. Lucrecia provided an update on Killington’s adoption of a declaration of inclusion, which has not been recognized by the official Declaration of Inclusion advocates because Killington changed the last paragraph. Joy shared that Hinesburg flies the Black Lives Matter Flag from February 1st through June 19th, but she is considering whether there may be additional flags and policies that should be adopted. Elaine shared that Winooski’s budgeting situation has required them to cut several positions, including the city dedicated equity position empty since July 2022, but that she is integrating equity work into every position in the City. Ellen shared an update on the tensions surrounding the Barre City Equity Committee. Deborah shared her efforts to dedicate time and resources of the Village of Bellows Falls to equity efforts.
Agenda Item #9 Other Business. Ted reminded committee members to get their stipend forms in as soon as possible, as the VLCT finance team will be paying out the stipends for the most recent three months in the coming weeks. Any non-responses will be presumed to be opt outs of the stipend. The next Equity Committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 21st, 2023, from 12:00 to 1:30 pm.
Agenda Item #9: Adjourn. Elaine Wang motioned to adjourn. Joy Dubin-Grossman seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 1:13 p.m.
VLCT Executive Director