On July 15, 2020 the Town Council approved the formation of the RESJ Committee and appointed Vice-Mayor Ackerman and Councilmember Hellman as the Council representatives to the RESJ. On September 2, 2020, the Town Council formally formed the Committee by resolution, and appointed 11 members plus two youth members.
The first meeting of the RESJ will be on November 5, 2020, at 7 pm. The agenda is posted on the Public Meetings page.
Resolution Forming the Committee
|Stephanie Hellman||Town Council|
|Bruce Ackerman||Town Council|
Message from Vice-Mayor Ackerman and Councilmember Hellman
The Racial Equity and Social Justice (RESJ) Committee will be advisory to the Town Council of Fairfax, CA. The Committee will focus on actively dismantling and eradicating systemic and individual racism, bigotry, and discrimination within our Town, in an effort to create a Fairfax that is explicitly antiracist, equitable, and inclusive in both word and deed. The RESJ Committee will be tasked with A) Identifying all non-equitable, racist, and/or non-inclusive aspects of our Town’s function; B) Bringing awareness and action to these problems, prioritizing those items that cause the most harm, and finding ways to dismantle problematic policies and structures where necessary; and C) Identifying key opportunities for growth of and education about antiracist, equitable, forward-thinking practices and policies within all aspects of Fairfax life.
We are seeking applicants who are committed to the active work of antiracism, which includes examining and actively improving all aspects of the Town’s function to better align with antiracist goals. This includes but is not limited to questions of education, housing, health, accessibility, budgets, and public safety (including policing practices). The RESJ Committee will center the voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color as a primary driver of its function.
A subcommittee of the RESJ Committee will be formed to specifically focus on policing within Fairfax. Fairfax has for many years had its own police force and 911 dispatch center, charged with Community Policing. A representative of the Fairfax Police will participate in these discussions, which will be an opportunity to deeply understand how policing operates in our town, for police leadership to listen to the needs of the community it serves, and for policies to be improved where necessary, and to explore alternative public safety models.
The committee will meet (via Zoom) in open and publicly noticed meetings, with staff support for agenda creation and noticing. The Brown Act will restrict discussion of committee business, as it does with all Town boards and committees. The Town is expecting to provide a trained facilitator to help with these important deliberations. It is hoped that creative and workable proposals will arise from this process.