m buckley wrote:Dan OMalley wrote:m buckley wrote:Dan OMalley wrote:m buckley wrote:Dan OMalley wrote:Jim O'Bryan wrote:Congratulations to Ward 4 Councilman Dan O'Malley on being selected Lakewood City Council President
Thanks Jim. My goal as council president is to provide steady leadership and to make sure everyone has a voice.
Dear Council President O,'Malley:
I applaud you for your pledge to "make sure everyone has a voice". The open seat on City Council is the perfect opportunity for you to take action to match your pledge. Because of City Council's lack of diversity, significant and important voices are not heard in our city. Without diversity in leadership we will never be the inclusive community that our slogans so often espouse and that you have pledged to ensure.
Take this first step in making sure everyone has a voice. Make sure the next voice on City Council is a person of color.
I understand the importance of diversity and representation. I think every person I’ve appointed to city boards and commissions happens to have been a woman, person of color, and/or LGBTQ. My approach to the filling of the council vacancy is to keep a completely open mind until everyone has had the opportunity to apply. City Council has serious and difficult work to do these next two years and filling this vacancy with the right person will be crucial to our success.
Dear Council President O'Malley:
I applaud your commitment to diversity reflected in your earlier appointments. But I was not challenging your commitment. Rather, I was asking that you use this important opportunity to add diversity to the voices at City Council. I assume that by "the right person" you mean someone who is qualified, engaged, has integrity and is committed to the best interests of our city. I agree with that. But, there is never only one "right person". There is always a group of candidates from which to choose, if we are open to identifying them and opening the door. There are a number of people who would serve the city well in this role - including people of color. (Although some may need encouragement to express interest, given the current and historic demographics of City Council.)
You plan to ensure "everyone has a voice". Take this opportunity to ensure that the voices on City Council include a person of color whose experience and world view adds the strength of diversity. It's a critical first step to achieve your goal.
To start the list of candidates, Michael Deneen has suggested Laura Rodriguez-Carbone. Her experience, described in her profile as a Crain's 40 Under 40, is certainly at least as impressive as anyone on the currently all-white city council.
Mark, fair points. Thanks.
Dan, you're welcome.
Looking forward to continuing the conversation on diversity, inclusion and Lakewood City Council.
Lakewood Ohio City Council President Dan O'Malley.
So Dan, Where do you pick up the conversation with someone who presides over an all white City Council in 2020 with an open seat to fill? ... 'Happy MLK day ?' - no that doesn't sound right. How about- 'Hey Dan where do I get one of those cool diversity yard signs?' - no that's a bit awkward given the circumstances.
Maybe we start here...
It's been 2 and 1/2 months since Meghan George won the election for mayor and her seat on City Council became open. That's a lot of time to reflect and act. To encourage and recruit qualified persons of color. To ensure that others have a seat at the table. A voice at the table. To change the historic and current demographics of Lakewood City Council.
That all white council culture. It's wrong. That next-white-guy-up political culture. It's wrong. The closed-door-need-not-apply culture. It's wrong. Too many have been too comfortable with the politics of exclusion in Lakewood for too long. It's wrong. MLK Day 2020 and it's way past time for change on Lakewood City Council.
Take this first step toward creating the inclusive community that our slogans so often espouse and that you have pledged to ensure.
It's your move. Your moment. Make a difference.
"The time is always right to do what is right." - Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.