On Tuesday, June 16, 2020, the East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors unanimously approved a resolution denouncing racism and systemic racial injustice. The resolution also expresses the Park District’s Solidarity with Black Americans and all People of Color.
The board also directed staff to discuss and develop an implementation plan to address systemic racial injustice within the Park District organization and in its parks. The Park District’s vision is to forever provide opportunities for a growing and diverse community to experience nature nearby.
As a public agency, the East Bay Regional Park District has a duty and an obligation to condemn racism and uphold the Constitution of the United States. Our Park District Values affirm our commitment to respect each other, the park visitors we serve, and the land we steward.
The Park District also shares the fundamental responsibility to contribute to the quality of life of the communities it serves by stewarding public lands where every person can find respite, reconnect with nature, recreate and learn. The Park District is actively and humbly listening and is committed to learning from all the voices of the communities we serve. We pledge to take additional actions, as we seek to do better for all.
RESOLUTION NO.: 2020-06-132
June 16, 2020
RESOLUTION OF THE EAST BAY REGIONAL PARK DISTRICT DENOUNCING RACISM AND STANDING IN SOLIDARITY WITH BLACK PEOPLE AND ALL PEOPLE OF COLOR
WHEREAS, communities throughout the country are hurt, in pain, angry and outraged over the ongoing epidemic of racism, racial injustice, inequity, and violence against Black People and all People of Color; and
WHEREAS, this pain is intensified by the unjust killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, who are just the most recent among many other Black People whose lives have been unjustly taken; and
WHEREAS, Black People and other People of Color face daily danger in outdoor spaces, where they are subjected to unwarranted suspicion, confrontation, and violence, such as the recent incident in New York’s Central Park involving Christian Cooper, an avid birder and a Black man; and
WHEREAS, the nation and the world are in the midst of an unprecedented and devastating COVID-19 pandemic that has disproportionally impacted Black People and other People of Color with millions unemployed and over 100,000 lives lost in the United States alone in just a few months; and
WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic also generated a wave of unacceptable hate crimes, harassment and discrimination against Asian People; and,
WHEREAS, the Park District believes every person deserves the right to feel safe and welcome in our organization, in our parks, and on our public lands; and
WHEREAS, for 86 years the Park District has been stewarding public parklands and open spaces as places of respite. Our commitment is to forever provide opportunities for all people in our growing and diverse community to experience nature nearby; and
WHEREAS, the Park District has declared our organizational Values, the first of which is Respect, and is expressed through our Mission by honoring each other, the park visitors we serve and the land we steward; and
WHEREAS, the Park District is committed to learning and changing to ensure our parks and trails are safe and welcoming to East Bay communities and all who chooses to visit; and
WHEREAS, the Park District acknowledges more work must be done and is committed to be a part of the necessary change for a just society; and
WHEREAS, the Park District commits that the officers who comprise our sworn Public Safety Division must continue to show honor, compassion, and the qualities of character that support equal justice for all; and
WHEREAS, the Park District’s Public Safety Division moved immediately to eliminate the use of the Carotid Restraint and is committed to further reviewing its policies; and
WHEREAS, the Park District commits that our entire public service workforce must embrace a culture of belonging and an inclusive organization by building bridges towards one another and creating bonds of connection from shared identity, empathy and understanding; and
WHEREAS, the Park District will ensure our workforce reflects the communities we serve at all levels of the organization and will recruit, hire, and retain competitive talent from park industry professionals of color; and
WHEREAS, now is the time to acknowledge past wrongs, for us to listen, learn, and act as we stand in solidarity with the people and communities who are most affected by centuries of systemic racism and inequality that harm Black lives today; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Directors and the East Bay Regional Park District hereby denounce racism and stand in solidarity with Black People; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Directors and the East Bay Regional Park District condemn the senseless killing of George Floyd as a result of the actions and inaction by the Minneapolis police officers on May 25, 2020; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board of Directors and the East Bay Regional Park District honor Black, Indigenous, and People of Color who contribute to our Mission; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Directors and the East Bay Regional Park District identify, acknowledge, and address racism, implicit bias, and the systems and policies that prevent Black employees and other people of color from realizing their full potential; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Directors and the East Bay Regional Park District commit to ensuring safe and welcoming outdoor spaces for Black, Indigenous and People of Color, free of racism, discrimination and threat of violence; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the General Manager is hereby authorized and directed, on behalf of the Park District and in its name, to execute and deliver such documents, and to do such acts as may be deemed necessary or appropriate to accomplish the intentions of this resolution beginning with 1) a review of police policies and procedures, including the California Attorney General’s recommended reforms, with a report to the full Board of Directors; and 2) work with the Workforce Diversity Committee, to assess and develop a plan to co-create a culture of inclusion and belonging in our workforce.
The East Bay Regional Park District is the largest regional park system in the nation, comprising 73 parks, 55 miles of shoreline, and over 1,300 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and environmental education. The Park District receives more than 25 million visits annually throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Dave Mason, Public Information Supervisor