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Santa Fe Approves Office Of Equity And Inclusion

The Santa Fe Governing Body on Wednesday voted to create an Office of Equity and Inclusion.
Kevin Meerschaert
The Santa Fe Governing Body on Wednesday voted to create an Office of Equity and Inclusion.

The Santa Fe Governing Body has approved a resolution to create a city office for Equity and Inclusion.

The bill passed unanimously Wednesday night directs the City Manager to establish the office in Santa Fe that shall work to reduce or eliminate racial and social disparities and work to achieve equity across the city.

The office will base its work on the recommendations of the CHART Commission that the Governing Body received in August of 2022.

Co-sponsor Renee Villareal, who is leaving the City Council next year, says she hopes her colleagues will make sure in the future the office always has the resources to succeed.

“I only think it will be successful if we take the mission and the purpose of this office seriously and we don’t just give it lip service,” she said. “As I said before, equity should be our North Star and I’m confident that by creating this kind of office we are creating a path for more understanding, having those difficult conversations that lead to reconciliation and working towards a more equitable community for everyone.”            

The Office of Equity and Inclusion’s responsibilities will also include creating policies, plans, and programs to meet the diverse needs of the Santa Fe community, use evidence-based best-practices to assess bias and promote anti-racism principals with city departments, and to collaborate with community partners to build outreach and education opportunities to promote public safety, quality of life and human rights.      

Councilor Signe Lindell says she wants the city to take the time to hire the right person for what will be a difficult job.

City Manager John Blair says there is no timeline for any hiring and they first need to write up a job description for publication.  

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