Affirm Diversity and Inclusion

Medford has declared racism a public health crisis, but the Mayor has yet to provide the community awareness, conversations, and education needed to create a more diverse and inclusive Medford.

Quite the opposite, the current Mayor downgraded the office of Diversity and Inclusion by merging it with the Office of Human Resources.  At best this decision watered-down City Hall’s efforts to address racism and at worst it shelved the issue. This is unacceptable in a city of 59,000 residents, 4,000 students, and over 1,000 employees - which is why I, as a City Councilor, rejected this ill-conceived consolidation.

Medford employees and residents deserve a stand-alone department that works with the community and City Hall to provide resources, education, and equitable services and opportunities.  We are a beautifully diverse and multicultural city, but we need to understand each other better and a Mayor should lead these conversations.  It is past time to start this important work.

John will:

  • Commit to fund a Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the City of Medford who will work city-wide including with the Medford Public Schools. The Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will act as a resource, guide, and strategic planner and have a seat at the table in decision making. 

  • Work with the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to provide mandatory employee training for all City of Medford employees on topics including unconscious bias, cultural competency, creating an inclusive workspace, and preventing discrimination and harassment.

  • Host an inaugural city-sponsored multicultural community forum, bringing together community leaders of color and those from faith, immigrant, and refugee groups as well as ally communities and we will listen.  From this event or other events as needed, I will form an ad-hoc Diversity Task Force utilizing our Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to develop tangible actions and recommendations. 

  • Provide free programming related to cultural competency, unconscious bias, respecting diversity, and other topics to all community members. 

  • Commit to adding a line item in the FY23 budget earmarked for employee trainings and community events. If we are able to secure grant funding that will help with our DEI initiatives- great. However, if we are truly committed to this process we need to start making our own investment.

  • Install a third flag pole at City Hall to hang both the Black Lives Matter and rainbow flags.