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.
John Arbeeny says
“Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion positions have become all the RAGE in the public sector…..” indeed! RAGE: violent, uncontrollable anger; feel or express violent uncontrollable anger. I might add, “a sudden rage devoid of any logical thinking”. This is nothing more than Critical race theory (CRT) masquerading behind the front of diversity, inclusion and equity. Racism posing as anti-racism perpetuates racism! A race to “…………. play catch up to the private sector……” doing this for primarily financial gain and market share which is not why we elect governments.
We don’t need “political officers” ala the old Soviet Union or re-education camps to indoctrinate our government officials, teachers and ultimately the rest of society. Before you spend one tax dollar on these positions you better lay out the need for them and just because others are rushing headlong into CRT isn’t a valid reason. Define the terms! Define the need! What are the “inequities”? What is the “institutionalized” or systemic racism and where is it found? How does an emphasis on race solve racism? It seems to me that race is only important to racists. Booker T. Washington was prophetic over 100 years ago when he foresaw the emergence of CRT and those who profit thereby:
“There is another class of coloured people (My NOTE: actually any “color” will do….racists come in all colors) who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.”
CRT and its embrace by the City of Lakewood and Clover Park School District is nothing more than “me too-ism”, virtue signalling and a distraction from the real problems that face our community. I have some questions for our newly “woke” elected officials. “People of color”? Is there a color chart to see if I qualify? Why do “people of color” need “woke” white people to succeed? Race is immutable: why not focus on character? What were “woke” people doing asleep while “systemic racism” crept into society? What epiphany woke them up? Why would you trust the same people to fix “systemic racism” they’re self admittedly responsible for? How does “diversity” unite us? Why are people better off as homogeneous faceless members of an arbitrary group based on skin color than when dealt with individually according to their individual needs? If you really wanted to address the inequities in society you’d follow the direction set by Dr. Martin Luther King and focus on individual CHARACTER instead of group skin color.