Many of us have been rocked by the overwhelming reality of systemic racism and inequality demonstrated so clearly and obviously the last couple of weeks. The death of George Floyd and others have focused our country on these longstanding issues.
Golden City Council Responds
Golden City Councilors and Mayor Weinberg provided a strong response and comments at last Thursday’s City Council meeting (June 4th video at GCo.TV). Statements and moment of silence at the beginning, additional discussion about next steps and committing to action around 2hrs 36min.
(JUNE 12: Mayor Weinberg posts a thoughtful Newsletter Update)
Golden Vigil & March June 7th – Almost all members of City Council, led by Mayor Weinberg and Councilor Trout, joined as many as 1,000 people (almost universally wearing masks) for the Vigil and March in Parfet Park in Downtown Golden, CO in support of Black Lives Matter and in support of action to address inequality and racism. (See Transcript Article).
They coordinated with Golden United in regards to the protest. Golden United has also planned extensive outreach and action regarding the systemic inequities faced by Black Americans. View speeches and video here.
I am sobered by Golden’s history as a home a century ago for Ku Klux Klan members and rallies. I echo Mayor Weinberg’s thoughts:
“It is an ugly part of our past and it does not reflect the Golden of today.”
“However, we would be naive to think that racism doesn’t exist here. It does and now is the time to actively commit to our Golden values — to be a community where everyone is safe, welcome and treated with respect and dignity.”Mayor Laura Weinberg, June 7, 2020 Vigil & March, Parfet Park, Golden CO
Civic engagement group Golden United held a Community Conversation on Fighting Racism Thursday, June 11th.
Update: During our June 11 City Council meeting, City Council discussed and unanimously adopted Resolution 2736 to Declare Racism A Public Health Crisis.
During the June 4th City Council meeting I strongly urged City Manager Slowinski and the Golden Police Department to provide a detailed and transparent response regarding Use of Force policies and protocols pertinent to Citizens of Golden and related to potential upcoming protests and marches.
Golden Police Respond
To provide transparency and information to City Council and all Goldenites, Golden Police Chief Bill Kilpatrick and his team provided the following review of pertinent policies, procedures, and training undertaken by officers of the Golden Police Department.
The Department response includes details regarding: Body-worn cameras, Diversity training, Procedural Justice, Crisis intervention training, Homeless navigation, Use of Force, De-escalation, and more.
(UPDATE: The Police response represents where the Department has been – not where they are going. City Staff and the Golden Police Department will hold an extensive public review with City Council at our Study Session on July 16th)
If you haven’t, please consider reading Police Chief Kilpatrick’s letter to the community published at the end of May.
Thank you for the many varied, thoughtful, and significant thoughts, expressions, and suggestions received by fellow residents of Golden. Let’s continue this conversation – and commit to action.
My prepared comments for the June 4th Golden City Council meeting:
This is not just another general conversation about equality. It is about George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, and others who died from racial violence and injustice. Their lives mattered. Black lives matter.
All living Presidents have weighed in, a sign that I find promising, and I am moved and guided by their words:
Former President Barack Obama states protest is how our country was founded “And we should all be thankful for folks who are willing, in a peaceful, disciplined way, to be out there making a difference.”
Former President George Bush wrote that he and his wife over the past week actively “resisted the urge to speak out, because this is not the time for us to lecture. It is time for us to listen.” … But “we also know that lasting peace in our communities requires truly equal justice. The rule of law ultimately depends on the fairness and legitimacy of the legal system.”
Former President Jimmy Carter shared this remarkable and sobering thought: “We need a government as good as its people, and we are better than this.”
If we want a diverse community, we must create a welcoming community atmosphere for all people in Golden.