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Letter to the Editor

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Mayor and City Council Members, Our Charter Review Commission Does Not Reflect Our City

A key item at our March 3, 2011 meeting was a discussion of the charter review process and the work of the commission. In reviewing the makeup of the members of the Charter Review Commission it became apparent that the members were primarily all White.

Members of The Group expressed concerns regarding how this could happen, especially in a city where Mayor Ron Loveridge is constantly speaking about how Riverside promotes diversity and inclusiveness.

Our concern is not directed at the individuals appointed commissioners. They are to be commended for their offer of service to our city. Our concern is the insensitivity and lack of respect shown by you when it turned out that the members of the commission reflected only one segment of our community.

Our members, by majority vote, directed that a letter be sent to the mayor and city council requesting that you expand the membership of the Charter Review Commission to reflect the city’s ethnic diversity, young adult population and geographic representation. One way to accomplish this would be to appoint a similar size group as the previous commission.

If there were a lack of qualified candidates to serve, you could have: A) responded by extending the application period; B) worked with established community groups such as Latino Network, The Pick Group, Riverside African American Historical Society, Riverside Branch NAACP, League of Women Voters and The Group.

We are requesting that you take the preceding concerns under consideration and seek to remedy this issue.

Jennifer Vaughn Blakely
Chair, The Group

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