Ellensburg City Council scouts for Diversity, Inclusion and Equity commission members

Ellensburg City Council scouts for Diversity, Inclusion and Equity commission members

Milenne Quinonez , Staff Reporter

The Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Commission has recently accepted applications to be on the commission. The Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Commission has been in the works since July of 2020. The subcommittee of the commission are Mayor Bruce Tabb and city council members Nancy Lillquist and Nancy Goodloe. 

According to the ordinance No. 4871, the purpose of the commission is to “assist Ellensburg City Council in promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in the City of Ellensburg through action, education, and guidance.” 

After the council’s approval of the ordinance on March 1, the committee began advertising for community members to apply to be a member on the commission. According to Lillquist, 34 people have applied to be on the commission. It is a seven member commission, and with one of those needing to be a council member, there will be only six spots open.  

Lillquist said there are a lot of people who are willing to step up and serve the community. “In my 20 years of doing this, we have not had that much of interest in a commission,” Lillquist said.  

Tabb said the subcommittee has initiated a two step process. First the subcommittee will be asking the applicant to answer four questions that are specific to the skills and abilities that are needed to be on the commission. The responses will be reviewed, and, from those responses, a few applicants will be selected to have an interview. After interviews, the subcommittee will be able to make a recommendation to the council. These questions are asked in efforts to narrow down the 34 applicants to six members.

“It will be an interesting process, there is just going to be a lot of weight. One quality against another in the different applicants,” Lillquist said. 

Lillquist said the subcommittee’s hope for the commission is for the community to gain an understanding as decisions are being made for the community. She said she has become more aware of the reality that not everyone shares the same experience as she does in Ellensburg.

“To have a commission that can give a different lens than what we as middle class white folks, generally see the world through,” Lillquist said. Tabb said it’s difficult to tell who has applied to be on the commission and if there are any student applicants. 

“We feel like it’s just critical that we incorporate student voices in the efforts for the city to move forward to address the issues of diversity, equity and inclusion,” Tabb said.