MARTINEZ (CBS SF/BCN) — The Martinez City Council plans to discuss forming an anti-racism and anti-discrimination, pro-inclusion and equity task force on Wednesday night, and will likely appoint two of its own members to help direct the process from an ad hoc subcommittee.
The council took 26 applications for the task force by its previous Sept. 1 deadline last year, but chose not to appoint anyone to the panel, which includes nine members and two alternates.READ MORE: UPDATE: Investigation Finds San Leandro Officers Didn't Follow Use of Force, Taser Policies in Fatal Walmart Shooting
The council – which said the goal of the panel would be to review city policies, programs and procedures for bias while making city committees and commissions more inclusive – re-booted the process, saying it wasn’t diverse enough.
The council re-opened the application process and set a Feb. 26 deadline, for which 14 people applied.
The council then directed city staff to identify a facilitator to run a community forum on issues of race, inclusion and equity. The council again changed direction March 17, deciding not to pursue the session and instead form an ad hoc subcommittee to the council.READ MORE: Bouncing Back? New Unemployment Claims In California Down Drastically
The idea for the task force goes back to July 2020, after several incidents occurred in Martinez related to the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin last summer. Chauvin is currently on trial for murder and manslaughter.
The killing sparked protests across the nation, including in Martinez, where activists painted a Black Lives Matter street mural downtown, which was painted over by counter protestors.
During the next few days, confrontations surrounding the mural included one in which a 30-year-old Martinez man was arrested on suspicion of brandishing a loaded revolver during an argument with a mural supporter. Also, someone painted “White Lives matter” across Howe Road in Martinez.
A staff report for Wednesday’s meeting says Mayor Rob Schroder will appoint councilmembers Lara DeLaney and Mark Ross to the new subcommittee, subject to council approval.MORE NEWS: San Jose Launches 'SJ Aspires' College Tuition Assistance Program For 700 Students
The Martinez City Council meets virtually at 7 p.m. Wednesday. To watch the meeting, go to https://bit.ly/3tbXHw0.