Citizen committee becomes more permanent, expands eligibility requirements

One year after its formation, an ad-hoc committee led by Langley residents seeks permanent status

One year after its formation, an ad-hoc committee led by Langley citizens and South Whidbey community members is seeking more permanent status.

The Dismantling Systemic Racism advisory group was created “to support and act in an advisory capacity and make recommendations to city council and mayor on policy matters related to achieving the community’s vision to dismantle systemic racism and advance equity,” according to city code recently established by a council-approved ordinance.

By solidifying the DSR as a standing committee, the city council was tasked with determining eligibility requirements to serve on the committee.

Currently, the DSR calls for half of its members to be from a BIPOC — Black, Indigenous and People of Color — community. People living outside of the city limits of Langley are also part of the committee.

“It is not unreasonable to expect at least two people to be residents,” Councilmember Dominique Emerson said during a discussion about the committee’s residency requirements at the last council meeting on Nov. 1.

Councilmember Craig Cyr pointed out that membership could also extend to employees working in the city.

Seeking the middle ground, Councilmember Thomas Gill proposed a solution that Cyr praised as “elegant.”

The council agreed that two voting members of the committee must either reside or work within Langley.

“I’d be amenable to having an entry at the bottom that says if these requirements cannot be met, persons who do not live within the city may be considered,” Gill said.

The name of the committee was also formally changed to the Dismantling Systemic Racism Advisory Commission.

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