Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Ellensburg takes steps to be more inclusive to travelers and locals.


Chuck Dickson, Staff Reporter

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Commission has been working on ways they can improve the connection between the city and the community. This includes fixing accessibility issues and understanding the community’s viewpoint.

“Some of the goals in the chapter are related to community engagement, cultural sharing and increasing accessibility to city services,” said Nicole Klauss, a public information officer for the city who has sat in on DEI Commission meetings.

An example of increasing the accessibility to city services would be a language barrier between the city council and a resident, explained by City Council member and Commission Chair Nancy Goodloe.

Goodloe provided an example where somebody will attempt to contact the city, but only speak a certain language. An issue is presented when there are no people or resources available to provide help to the person, and she hopes they can learn to navigate these problems and provide solutions.

In the agenda meeting minutes of Sept. 14, it is stated that Commissioner Sara Omrani wants to focus on setting up a listening tour focused on marginalized CWU students, “because a big opportunity is learning why CWU students don’t stay here.”

Klauss said they have worked on the committee from scratch, which implied a lot of work had to be done.

“We spent the bulk of the first five months working on drafting the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Chapter of the City’s Comprehensive Plan,” Klauss said. “It’s a new chapter, so we [are] starting from scratch. It includes Ellensburg’s history, demographic information and policies and goals that relate to diversity, equity and inclusion in Ellensburg. The Ellensburg Comprehensive Plan is the community’s vision for future growth and development – a 20-year plan that outlines high level goals.”