Submitted by Kyle Manglona.
While we watch with anticipation the names submitted after filing week, Lakewood residents should also keep our eyes peeled on two full-time positions recently advertised within the City Manager’s office: Assistant to the City Manager/Policy Analyst and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Manager. These positions, while not elected, will nevertheless serve crucial roles within city government, influencing innovation, policy, and culture in our community.
Why are these positions important? The ASM/Policy analyst role is a preview of up-and-coming leadership in the public space. The past two ASMs/Policy Analysts have left Lakewood for promotional opportunities in Pullman and Lacey. Clearly, their public servant skillset was honed and refined here in Lakewood, making them quality hires for leadership elsewhere in our state.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion positions have become all the rage in the public sector this past year, as government agencies and local municipalities play catch up to the private sector, where FTE’s leading enterprise equity initiatives have been the norm for quite some time. This position will be mission critical in setting strategic vision and promoting community engagement, particularly as we deal with the current issues of race and inequality in our city, state, and nation.
The City of Lakewood has a valuable opportunity to select candidates who represent the diverse needs of our residents, while fearlessly promoting our city as a leader in equitable initiatives. So while we watch the names for the upcoming ballot, we also look forward to seeing the final selections for these non-elected, public servant roles.
Kyle Manglona is a Lakewood resident and graduate student in Public Administration at the Evergreen State College.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.