Washington for Justice draws 30 people to town hall meet

WASHINGTON — Washington for Justice held a virtual town hall Monday night to discuss the mission of the group as well as its proposal for an IDEA committee.

There were 30 people in attendance, including members of the City Council.

The grassroots organization was formed after two council members made comments viewed as racist regarding Black Lives Matter during an Aug. 4 City Council meeting.

A member of the group, Dan Henderson, said the mission statement of the group is “to create a more inclusive community by confronting racism in all its forms.”

Two Washington residents, Henderson and Adhali Larios-Hernandez presented their proposal to create a new committee within the City Council.

In the proposal, Henderson said Washington is 14 percent non-white and without those individuals the population of Washington would have dropped over the years instead of staying consistent.

He said by 2045 white will be a minority, and he expects Washington to be 25 to 30 percent non-white.

The group believes Washington should embrace diversity and seek out non-white residents, create an inclusive culture and give incentives for younger non-white people to live in Washington, according to the presentation.

The group would like this to be done through a an advisory committee formed by the City Council.

The committee would be called the IDEA Committee, which stands for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability.

Larios-Hernandez said the work would include reviewing city ordinances, educating the community on systematic racism and marginalization and advocate for marginalized voices.

The committee would be owned by the City Council, Henderson said.

After the presentations, the group broke into smaller sections to discuss the presentation and what could be added before it is presented to the council.

To wrap up, Bethany Glinsmann, a member of the group, gave a few ways people can get involved.

Showing up to council meetings, writing a letter to the editor, calling council members, sharing with the community and staying engaged were a few of the examples.