There is hope from some residents that city uses outside resources for inclusivity initiatives

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City of Temple logo(Michael Cantu KWTX)
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 9:07 PM CDT
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) - Representative of some Central Texas minority communities say there is hope, mixed with concern for their city government.

This follows a decision made last week by the City of Temple, which would do away with finding outside help to promote more equity for minority communities within city government.

Instead, the city would promote those initiatives internally, which has some residents raising eyebrows.

“I choose to hope that those that we elected are going to continue this fight,” said Terris Goodwin, founder of Wake Up Temple.

Some, like Goodwin, are left wondering if goals of incorporating more diversity, equity and inclusion are realistic.

I was an initiative that got off the ground last year, following the 2019 shooting death of Temple man Michael Dean. He was shot and killed by temple police officer Carmen DeCruz.

“The purpose of the D.E.I. initiative, originally, was to give us an avenue to better communicate with all of our citizens,” said Tim Davis, Temple’s mayor.

According to Davis, the work was first aimed toward communication toward the black community but later evolved to be geared toward all minority communities.

“Our goal is to be sure that we serve every citizen of the City of Temple, no matter what. Male or female, black or white, gay or straight,” said Davis.

For residents like Goodwin, it was something worth getting behind.

“If you’re really wanting to get to the bottom of it, get to the nitty-gritty and do the work that needs to be done you really have to do an accurate assessment of what has to happen,” said Goodwin.

But there was quite a lot of disappointment after the city came out last week saying it was not going to get outside help to promote D.E.I. work. This came after a small, but concerned, group of residents raised opposition.

“I recognize and understand that maybe the expert that they first were going to consider – maybe that wasn’t the best and viable option,” said Goodwin.

But as the mayor puts it, internal training – at least for now -- may be a better option and would still give city staff an understanding of minority communities struggles.

“We’ll make those determinations as we go,” said Davis. “Whether or not to leave the internal processes exactly that: internal.”

Still, for Goodwin and others, there is hope the city uses outside sources to help create an equity plan for those communities in the area.

“The first step is giving them some time to recalibrate, readjust, tell us what the plan is,” said Goodwin.

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