BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos County Council will consider the results of a survey finalized in October on Equity and Inclusion in the community during their regular meeting Tuesday at 6 p.m. on Zoom. The survey was initiated following a petition to Council in early September. See https://losalamosreporter.com/2020/09/04/racial-justice-los-alamos-petition-on-los-alamos-county-councils-tuesday-agenda/
The survey was completed by 238 people in Los Alamos and White Rock. Surprisingly 25 percent of them were aged 55-64 while only 1 percent of respondents were aged 18-24. The survey results may be viewed in the agenda packet at https://losalamos.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=757202&GUID=3C2BDE8B-0C2F-4D24-9F1F-40954EDAF5A1&Options=info|&Search=
Council will also review a presentation on community engagement and County actions taken to date as well as a path forward. The agenda packet indicates that to date the following actions have taken place:
○ Reviewed and revised hiring goals to increase minority and and female representation
○ Identified opportunities for improvement using employee survey
○ Conducted Community Equity and Inclusion Survey; will further evaluate results when
bench mark data becomes available
○ Initiated implicit bias training
○ Reviewed and updated policies regarding response to resistance, choke holds, positional
asphyxiation/excited delirium, crowd control (a new policy), prohibited tactics, body-worn
cameras, and duty to intervene
○ Completed a four-hour training titled “Confronting Implicit Bias: Best Practices for Criminal
Justice Professionals” conducted by Dr. Jay Singh
Recommendations for a path forward in the presentation are:
Implement implicit bias training for all County staff and elected officials – contract with a trainer with complementary outside perspectives (e.g. personal experiences being marginalized/part of a marginalized group (future budget item for staff to pursue).
Review the Community Equity and Inclusion Survey to identify potential areas for future action.
Direct County Manager to discuss best practices for diversity and inclusion in recruitment and hiring with the new Human Resources Manager.
Create a Council liaison/position to continue engagement with the Racial Justice Action Advisory Council, the Los Alamos Public Schools and their ongoing efforts, and state actions through Gov. Lujan Grisham’s Council for Racial Justice.
Directly engage political leadership/elected representatives from the local Pueblos and other neighboring communities to improve understanding and explore avenues.
Members of the public can join the Council meeting and/ make public comment via Zoom by pasting into their browser the following: https://zoom.us/j/95399054502 once the session has started. They can also participate by telephone at:
US: +1 253 215 8782 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 669 900 6833 or +1 301 715 8592 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 929 205 6099. Webinar ID: 953 9905 4502