Langley passes resolution promoting racial justice

A Langley resolution dedicated to promoting racial justice was unanimously passed at a council meeting Monday night.

Council members Craig Cyr and Christy Korrow brought the resolution to the council’s attention, which has been deemed a living document and reviewed by members of the public impacted by systemic racism.

“I am hopeful and indeed confident that this resolution moves the city of Langley towards an anti-racist future that will transform our city to be a welcoming, inclusive community,” Cyr said.

Council members agreed.

“I think this document is vitally important and critical, and I would like to see it pass tonight,” Council Member Peter Morton said, suggesting that resources are required in order to implement the intentions of the resolution.

He added that the resolution may be a guide for other municipalities or jurisdictions to follow.

Several South Whidbey residents voiced support of the resolution during the teleconferenced meeting.

“I think it’s important that the process for adopting changes and updates be written to protect the intention over generations,” Clinton resident Gail Lavassar said.

Cyr assured her that the current council will “drive” the resolution into Langley culture so it survives the next council.

Langley resident Brook Willeford expressed his admiration for the council keeping the voices of BIPOC — Black, Indigenous and People of Color — at the center in the continuing work.

Langley resident Kenesha Lewin thanked the council for listening.

“Thank you for being brave and having the courage to put this resolution forward,” she said. “Thank you very much to the community members who have taken the time to do this.”

The council voted 5-0 to approve the resolution with the commitment to dismantle systemic racism.

As part of the resolution, the city will create a multi-racial working group of council members, the mayor and the public for listening to the communities affected by policies and practices contributing to systemic racism.

“It is not enough to oppose racism. We must all be anti-racist,” Cyr said. “We must educate ourselves as to why BIPOC finds Langley and Whidbey a very difficult place to live.”

A series of public educational workshops for the council, mayor, city staff, volunteers and other interested residents will be led by BIPOC.

Korrow said she hopes people will make the commitment to do the work, in the form of community-building.

Korrow suggested action on administrative policy review and building a coalition of businesses and nonprofits in the city, with the work anchored in Langley.

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