Developing policies that prioritize equity and inclusion takes time and resources. Additionally, it requires a commitment to learn and a dedication to being inclusive.
During the July 19, 2022 Sammamish City Council Meeting, the Council approved a Resolution. This Resolution commits and establishes a process to proceed with a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) program.
The establishment of a Citywide DEIB program was one of the Council's highest priorities in the City’s 2022 Work Plan. Learn more on the project page.
Defining Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
What is Diversity?
Each person has layers of diversity that make his/her/their perspective unique. Diversity is a variety of human differences and similarities among people, such as:
age, belief system, class/caste, culture, disability, education, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, generation, geography, job role and function, language, marital status, mental health, nationality, native or indigenous origins, parental status, personality type, race, religion, sexual orientation, thinking style, work experience and work style.
What is Equity?
Regardless of one’s identity, equity is when all people have just treatment and access to opportunities necessary to satisfy their essential needs, advance their well-being and achieve their full potential while identifying and eliminating barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups.
What is Inclusion?
This is an active state of being valued, respected and supported. Inclusion focuses on the needs of every individual. It ensures the right conditions are in place for each person to achieve his or her full potential.
An inclusive environment ensures equitable access to resources and opportunities for all. It also enables individuals and groups to feel safe, respected, engaged and motivated. Inclusion helps people feel valued for who they are and for their contributions toward organizational and societal goals.
Reducing Barriers and Welcoming All
The City of Sammamish has joined with other East King County cities in issuing a joint proclamation honoring Welcoming Week. Welcoming Week is an annual event started in 2009 by the nonprofit organization Welcoming America. The national program encourages local cities and organizations to sponsor community events to bring people together and reduce social barriers.
City of Sammamish's Proclamation Reaffirming Principles and Values of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
As your City government, our role is to bring people together and not divide them. Our job is to be welcoming of all people and all ideas in recognition that we truly are stronger and smarter together. We need to recognize certain essential principles and conduct our government and hopefully our lives consistent with those principles.
Consequently, as your City Council, we pledge:
- To do all we can to foster civil discourse
- To ensure that City services are always provided in a manner that does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity
- To foster a community that always encourages people to achieve their potential and help others to do similarly
- To protect our air, water and other parts of our natural environment to protect the health and futures of our families and future generations
- To welcome, without reservation, new people from all parts of our world, with an abiding faith in their potential to be part of and strengthen our community
- To never marginalize or demonize any person or group of people
- To respect and listen to people and their ideas
- To understand that we have a responsibility not just to ourselves but to others in our region including many who are not as fortunate
- To do all we can to ensure that our children will inherit a world that includes all of the good that the world our parents brought us into had
- To encourage that our national, state and regional leaders uphold these same values
We commit to regularly remind ourselves of these principles and to judge ourselves and our City by our adherence to them.
Proclamation Declaring the City Sammamish Stands Together Against All Discrimination, Including Racial Violence and Harassment
WHEREAS the United States is founded on the principles that all persons, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, creed, or ethnicity, should be treated with dignity, respect, compassion and justice,
WHEREAS we have witnessed the mistreatment of people of color while in police custody, resulting in death and tragedy for their families, communities, and the nation,
WHEREAS on May 25, 2020, George Floyd died in Minneapolis, Minnesota shortly after his arrest in which an officer kneeled on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds; and neither the officer nor any of the other arresting officers heeded Mr. Floyd’s request for help when he stated he could not breathe,
WHEREAS the nation is grappling with the pandemic caused by COVID-19, and there is misinformation and a false narrative being pushed by certain persons that blame China and Chinese people for its spread,
WHEREAS there has been an increase in anti-Asian violence nationwide, with reports of assault, verbal abuse, and discrimination against persons of Asian descent,
WHEREAS the City of Sammamish is a tolerant and peaceful community which values diversity, equality, justice, and human rights for all,
WHEREAS the City of Sammamish as stewards for public safety recognizes the right for peaceful and safe protest,
WHEREAS the City of Sammamish has a close working relationship with the Sammamish Chief of Police, Daniel Pingrey, and are confident Chief Pingrey and his officers share the same values around equality and justice,
WHEREAS the City of Sammamish is committed to creating an environment where all employees, contractors, elected officials, and commission members uphold and reflect these values of equality and justice,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City of Sammamish stands in unity with the nation in its demand for racial justice and an end to all forms of racial violence.