Missoula City Council hears JEDI Proposal and Update
Just as the Missoula County Commissioners are considering the JEDI initiative (Just, Equitable, Diverse and Inclusive), the Missoula City Council met on Wednesday and also heard about the initiative that has been under consideration for some time.
Partial audio from the meeting is included below.
The council heard from the Director of Missoula Parks and Recreation, Donna Gauckler, as well as Ashley Brittner Wells, the National League of Cities JEDI Coordinator.
Brittner Wells provided a timeline for the JEDI project.
“In November of 2020 City Council hired the Listening Engaging Action Reflection Network or LEARN Missoula,” said Brittner Wells. “Through their research they seek to determine the level of municipal systems awareness of implicit and explicit biases and inequities toward BIPOC (Black and Indigenous People of Color) residents and how they use data to make changes. They're centering BIPOC voices through research, interviews and data collection.”
Brittner Wells detailed the work of the advisory board.
“The JEDI Advisory Board role is largely to be determined, but it is a board that will facilitate community driven JEDI efforts at the city in the county,” she said. “We're in the middle of forming that workgroup and they are going to help inform what exactly the JEDI advisory board's role will be.”
Brittner Wells also provided her definition of social equity.
“So what is social equity?” she asked. “Social equity is the active commitment to fairness, justice and equality in the formulation and implementation of public policy, distribution of public services and management of all institutions serving the public directly or by contract. We should seek to prevent and reduce inequality, unfairness and injustice based on significant social characteristics and to promote greater equality and access to services procedural fairness, quality of services and social outcomes.”
Brittner Wells then posted a slide with the projected budget for the ‘Investment in Equity’.
“The investments in equity that you're not asking to approve today, and we're not asking for approval of the budget request,” she said. “But this is part of the resolution itself professional consultants to review and revise our policies, procedures and initiatives to better reflect JEDI to ensure equitable delivery of city Missoula services and for JEDI training for leadership and staff including staff support to support the ongoing effort.”
The Missoula County Commissioners discussed the JEDI project on KGVO on Tuesday's Montana Morning News show.
County officials tell KGVO the JEDI resolution is still in draft form and public comment is open until August 5.