The difficult job of successfully increasing diversity in the city’s staff “takes work and tough conversations,” he said. Among other things, people on the commission have to acknowledge “there is an east/west issue in the city,” and then they have to analyze what is there and how to resolve it, he said.
For the new commission to have buy-in from the community, people living in such East Side neighborhoods as the Second and Fourth wards, Lindenwald, North End and other areas have to feel they are being represented and their voices are being heard, Johnson said.
Officials are “just looking for some new enthusiasm,” said Civil Service & Personnel Director Jeanne Pope. “We have some additional information at this point I think that can help us refocus the goals.”
One aim of the commission is to increase diversity of city staff. As for other goals, those will be up to the new members of the commission, Pope said.
“What we want to do is get the Diversity and Inclusion Commission together and decide on what we think are attainable goals for this year,” she said.
People interested in joining the commission can contact Pope at 513-785-7186 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The questionnaire to be filled out by people wanting to join the commission can be found here.
Under the old commission format, the panel’s purpose was “to study internal and external barriers to diversity and inclusion and provide recommendations regarding such barriers.”
The new purpose, according to city documents, is “to receive reports from city management related to internal and external diversity and inclusion efforts and provide non-binding advice regarding such efforts.”
The former commission had 15 voting members, eight appointed by the city manager and seven appointed by council. It also had three non-voting members appointed by the city manager.
The new version will have seven voting members “appointed by City Council liaisons,” plus two or three non-voting members appointed by the manager.