On December 14, 2021, the Board of Commissioners (BoCC) approved Resolution No. 16097, establishing the Thurston County Council on Racial Equity and Inclusion. This resolution supports Resolution No.15995 which declared Racism a Crisis in Thurston County and the Board of Health (BoH) Proclamation of Racism as a Health Crisis in Thurston County, both adopted on March 9, 2021.
The Thurston County Council on Racial Equity and Inclusion will initially be comprised of seven Thurston County residents who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC). It is important the council is inclusive of the broad Thurston County geographical area, to include the cities of Lacey, Olympia, Tumwater, Rainier, Rochester, Tenino, Yelm, the town of Bucoda, and unincorporated Thurston County.
The purpose of the council is to advise and engage the BoCC, BoH, and elected and appointed officials on matters of racial equity and inclusion within all county services and the policies, processes, and practices used to accomplish the mission of Thurston County government.
The Council’s responsibilities include, and are not limited to:
- Input on racial equity strategies based on the results of the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) Staff Survey Summer 2022.
- Recommendations for strategies to increase access for BIPOC residents and to reduce barriers to county services and resources.
- Identifying opportunities to increase the participation of underrepresented BIPOC community members in the development and implementation of county government ordinances, regulations, policies, and programs.
- Providing input to BoCC, BoH, and elected and appointed officials, county employees and volunteers to develop and implement a county Racial Equity Action Plan, including future updates and modifications, and other efforts aimed at creating a more equitable community.
- Providing input to the BoCC, BoH, and elected and appointed officials to conduct a regular reoccurring community assessment to understand the current state of diversity, equity, and inclusion as experienced by county residents.