Connect with us


Juneau Assembly creates systemic racism review committee



More than 400 people attended a downtown rally in June in support of Black community members and Black people following nationwide protests against police violence and systemic racism. (Photo by Rashah McChesney/KTOO)

The Juneau Assembly passed an ordinance Monday creating a systemic racism review committee. 

The committee will be tasked with reviewing legislation that comes before the Assembly to ensure that it doesn’t perpetuate discrimination or inequality in the community. 

Assembly member Rob Edwardson, who is Haida, proposed the ordinance after hearing from community members about their experiences with racism in Juneau. 

He intends for the committee to be made up of experts familiar with systemic racism. 

“If we took seven people from the pool of people that I’m talking about, they’re going to come up with a better plan than what we are,” Edwardson said.

Other assembly members voiced concern about the amount of work the committee will end up with given the broad scope of its mission. 

Proposed amendments limiting the terms of those serving on the committee to 18 months and allowing more direct Assembly oversight failed to pass. 

Mayor Beth Weldon proposed a successful amendment allowing committee members to determine their own criteria for how to go about their work.

She agreed that the ordinance was not perfect. 

“So the workload is a concern … but again, looking to try and move forward and trying to do this, even this ordinance that I believe has some problems in it,” Weldon said. “I’ll remain the optimist and hope that things work out for it.”

The ordinance passed 8 to 1, with Assembly member Loren Jones opposed. 

An accompanying ordinance introduced on Monday would appropriate $50,000 to fund the committee’s work. It will have a public hearing next month. 

The Assembly will also discuss a proposed anti-racism resolution from the Juneau human rights commission at the committee of the whole meeting next Monday. 

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply