Jill Johnson who had recently been appointed to the Commission was introduced. She, as well as the other Commission members, briefly provided information on their work histories/backgrounds.
Strategic Plan Reports
C.2 – 87 essays were received. After discussion, it was the consensus of the Commission to present awards at the April 21 City Council meeting instead of the April 7 meeting.
C.3 - Regarding HRC awards, Amanda Sher and Ron Hodges will compile a list of names of possible award recipients throughout the year with the intention of making selections in the fourth quarter. All HRC members will be part of the selection process.
F.1 – Commission members frequently network with other groups such as the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, Human Rights Roundtable, Meacham Park Neighborhood Improvement Association, as well as Kirkwood Neighbors United.
G.2 – Denis Hart advised that it is the intention of the Disability Survey Committee to present the disability survey report in April. He noted that interactions with individuals at the Human Rights Roundtable meetings helped the committee shape their survey.
I. 1 – Some potential meeting dates have been given to Chief Plummer with the hope of meeting with him at various times throughout the year.
Commission members discussed changing the dates of the essay contest submittals to the Fall semester of the school year with a due date in October. It was suggested that the winner be asked to read their essay at the Kirkwood MLK event. After discussion, it was decided that a better forum would be for the winning essay to be read at a City Council meeting as has been done in the past and then possibly at a school assembly.
All Commission members other than Ron Hodges and Josh Lewis gave their five top essays picks to Denis Hart. Denis Hart requested that the remainder essay picks be given to him within the following week.
Some Commission members reported that they had attended the program at Eliot Chapel with Dr. Andrea Boyles entitled Too Close for Comfort; Race, Place and Suburban Policing on February 27. Concerns were expressed regarding who was interviewed for the book with some feeling that the book was written without the author being aware of all sides of the story. The importance of moving forward was noted.
Regarding the MLK event which is held in February, Denis Hart offered to contact Jeffrey Blair to find out how the HRC could participate in the event next year.
A candidate forum, sponsored by Kirkwood Neighbors United for the Mayor and City Council candidates, is scheduled for March 16 at Eliot Unitarian Chapel.
Ron Hodges reported that he, Russ Hawes and Chief Plummer had met with Mrs. White from the St. Louis County Housing Authority. At the meeting there had been a discussion regarding the youth job training program, where companies train youth who are Housing Authority residents. It is hoped that the program can be expanded to others who do not reside in that type of housing.
The next meeting of the HRC will be held on April 12, 2016.
Motion was made by Denis Hart and seconded by Amanda Sher to adjourn. All in favor, motion carried.