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Effective Leadership in Riverside

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By Hardy Brown

In "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" Stephen R. Covey, speaks of people being proactive, beginning with the end in mind and putting first things first.

The recent unanimous decision by the Riverside City Council to appeal a Riverside County judge's order to return Wayne Stewart back to work in my mind fits that kind of proactive leadership.

They have said many times that they want a police department that is above reproach and one the entire community can be proud of and trust. This decision will go a long way in doing that and restoring the community’s faith in a city and police department that seem to have lost their way after the shooting death of Tyisha Miller.

This decision says we will not tolerate ill conceived plans when rendering service to the public. This decision says we will not tolerate a celebration of a bad conclusion whenever a life has been taken. This decision says we will not tolerate insensitive statements such as "they ought to be happy we shot her with black bullets.”

This decision says we will not tolerate police officers trying to cover-up their actions. This decision says we will not tolerate police officers intimidating one another while trying to protect each other’s incompetence. This decision says the public good of fairness is a higher standard that all of us must strive for.

This decision says to the public that even when we are wrong we will try to correct our errors no matter how hard it hurts to do so, not because we want to but because the public institution we serve demands it.

And the new leadership of the Riverside NAACP is to be commended for admitting in a public meeting that they missed the train when Tyisha Miller was killed by those police officers in 1998. However, they will not make that mistake about the officers being returned back to work. In other words, Waudier Rucker-Hughes said this time around, the NAACP will help the engineer start the engine on the civil rights train. They will assist with selecting the proper boxcars to ensure room for all to ride. They are saying the legal boxcar is attached to properly derail this judge’s order.

They even put on a boxcar with the sky dome to monitor the actions of the city prior to the decision and they made sure the caboose was in place so no one could escape the wrath of the nations largest, baddest, boldest, most feared civil rights organization in the nation. Yes the new leadership of the NAACP is to be commended for stepping up to the plate and saying we will not allow this injustice to continue.

Finally, the Press Enterprise is to be commended for calling on the city to appeal the judge’s order of reinstatement. They are saying stand up now and live out the dream of equality in this All America City of Riverside. Yes it might cost us some money in order to settle the issue, but what is money compared to fairness, justice, equality, integrity, openness, and tolerance of people of a different color, sexual orientation, religious faith or lifestyle?

Yes this decision fits a new book, the book of Effective People in a Community Leadership position.

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