With Board of Supervisors resolution, relationship of trust and respect urged for everyone
(County Press Release):
Social equity has been a top priority for the County of Marin for many years, and the Board of Supervisors emphasized its importance again after the Marin community expressed concerns about the changing immigration policy in Washington, D.C.
At its March 21 meeting, the Board passed a resolution supporting family unity, community security, dignity and due process for all residents of Marin. It was brought forth in light of recent shifts in federal immigration policy, including executive orders signed by the new administration that have created a “climate of fear and uncertainty among immigrant communities nationwide, including our own,” as noted in the resolution.
With its 22 departments, the County government serves an estimated 16,000 undocumented immigrants, or about 6 percent of the population. Just four months ago, the Supervisors affirmed with a resolution that equity and inclusion are priorities of the County of Marin, and it takes a stand against all forms of discrimination and intolerance.
“Fostering a relationship of trust, respect and open communication between County employees and County residents, regardless of immigration status, is essential to the County’s core mission of ensuring the heath, well-being and public safety for our entire community,” the new resolution reads.
“Our Board wants to ensure that eligible individuals are able to seek services from the County without regard to immigration status,” said Board President Judy Arnold. “This reaffirms our commitment to initiatives that build inclusive and equitable communities. I believe this resolution is an affirmation of our promise to stand in the gap with the community and law enforcement for those we serve.”
The Marin County Office of the Public Defender maintains an Immigrant Resource Toolkit, also in English and Spanish, to help inform residents of their rights. The Marin County District Attorney also recently instituted a Hate Crime Hotline at 415-473-2585 to assure that potential hate crime incidents are properly and promptly investigated.
In addition to immigrant protections, the County is making efforts to level the playing field on many fronts in the interest of fairness. In its October 2016 State of the County report, the County chose equity as one of its focal points for 2017. Income disparity in Marin is on the rise, negatively affecting quality of life and even life expectancy for those lower on the socioeconomic scale.
The County is dedicated to delivering services to the people who need the help the most, and that often includes recent immigrants. Recent equity efforts include increasing food parity, removing artificial barriers to job recruitment, promoting civil rights, and making open space preserves and parks more accessible to all.
The County’s 5 Year Business Plan, approved by the Supervisors in October 2015, focuses on equity and inclusion as the County works to be a more adaptive organization that fosters engagement, learning and leadership. For more than a decade, equity has been one of the County’s guiding goals and official policy guidelines. Equity, education, environment and economy, referred to as the “Four E’s,” which for 10 years as helped prioritize and support a wide variety of County initiatives.
Melanie Nathan: One wonders how this Resolution will translate into reality – let’s see!