– Following today’s League of California Cities Board of Directors
meeting, the board issued the below statement committing to creating an equitable and just future for all Californians:
“Communities throughout California and across the nation are frustrated, outraged, and grieving over the deaths of George Floyd and countless other men and women, some of whom made headlines and many others who did not. Their senseless deaths have brought to the forefront, yet again, the painful injustices in our society that communities of color have endured for generations.
“The League of California Cities Board of Directors shares in our country’s anguish. We stand firmly opposed to any expression of discrimination or racism towards any person and we commit to rooting out systemic racial bias wherever, and whenever, it exists.
“Outrage at the brutal treatment of people of color, especially at the hands of law enforcement, is not new. We have been here before. However, the heightened awareness too often has faded, with minimal change that fails to result in meaningful and lasting progress toward a just and equitable system. This time must be different. As local leaders, we have a tremendous opportunity and responsibility to evaluate, reimagine, and reform our institutions to ensure our systems are equitable and just.
“Reform will not happen overnight, but as city leaders, we must and will listen to the voices of those in our communities who have suffered bias and have been treated unfairly. We must hear their words and turn them into effective action to protect the civil rights of every person.
“We also believe that real progress can only stem from proactive community engagement that is inclusive, transparent, sustainable, and builds trust between all residents and the city agencies that serve them.
“Working with city and law enforcement leadership, we commit to reevaluating city operations and services through an equity lens and reforming areas where longstanding racial biases and inequities exist. This includes advancing policies that promote the hiring and support of police officers who reflect the diverse communities they have sworn to protect and serve.
“Racial bias has been ingrained in our institutions for decades. It is time instead to embed equity and justice into the fabric of those same institutions. As local government leaders, it is our responsibility to drive the change and accountability that we need to see throughout our society.
“The time to act is now.”
Established in 1898, the League of California Cities is a nonprofit statewide association that advocates for cities with the state and federal governments and provides education and training services to elected and appointed city officials.