Im excited, Mayor Bruce Teague said at the end of the Iowa City Councils special formal session on Tuesday night.
The almost four-and-a-half-hour meeting followed the city councils two-hour-long normal formal meeting, and was devoted to developing a plan to address the social justice issues that have come to forefront as a result of local and national protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd.
Were not all the way there, dont get me wrong, Teague said at the end of the special formal session. He added, This is amazing.
The city council unanimously passed a 17-point resolution that covers topics from affordable housing to police reform, and even added a new holiday to the citys official calendar. It also approved a resolution empowering the mayor to send a letter to the Johnson County Attorney asking her to drop all charges against people involved in the protests led by the Iowa City Freedom Riders (IFR).
The resolution was drafted largely in response to a list of demands IFR published last week. At the beginning of the special session, Mayor Teague thanked Councilmember Laura Bergus for her work in drafting the resolution. Bergus is the only practicing attorney on the city council. (Councilmember Janice Weiner briefly practiced law before her career in the diplomatic service.)
The full name of the resolution indicates the width of its scope: Resolution of Initial Council Commitments addressing the Black Lives Matter Movement and Systemic Racism in the wake of the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis Police and calls for action from protesters and residents.
In addition to the demands published by IFR, Teague said the resolution had been influenced by hundreds of emails the city has received in the past three weeks, as well as many conversations with Iowa Citians, both in person and on the phone.
The resolution calls for the creation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission by Oct. 1. The commission is intended to bear witness to the truth of racial injustice in Iowa City and to carry out restorative justice through the collection of testimony and public hearings. Details regarding the commission will be determined during future city council work sessions, but Mayor Teague made it clear he considers the commission to be essential in helping the city council determine policies regarding topics such as affordable housing, policing practices and increasing diversity among the citys staff.
As part of the resolution, the city council committed to spending $1 million during the fiscal year that begins on July 1 to promote racial equity and social justice through, among other things, supporting the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and creating a new affordable housing plan.
While all the councilmembers were in agreement about the commission, there was some disagreement regarding the new affordable housing program.
Councilmember Mazahir Salih wanted to add wording to the resolution to make sure the plans would address the need for affordable housing downtown and in Iowa Citys core neighborhoods (which the city has previously defined as the Northside, College Green, Bowery, Longfellow, Mark Twain, Riverfront Crossings East, Riverfront Crossing West, Miller/Orchard, and Brookland/Roosevelt neighborhoods), but Councilmember Susan Mims pushed back against the idea.
Mims said she wasnt in favor of naming downtown and the core neighborhoods in the resolution because that is the most expensive place for providing affordable housing, because land costs are the highest. So, I guess we have to make a balance between the number units [of affordable housing] wed like to provide and location.
Our editors are working around the clock to cover the COVID-19 crisis in Iowa. Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest in your inbox daily.
Salih responded that the expensive nature of the real estate is exactly why we want affordable housing there. She added, the core neighborhood is not only for people who have money, its not only for business people, its supposed to be for everyone.
The language in the resolution was adjusted to say the affordable housing plan would include but not be limited to downtown and the core neighborhoods.
Another part of the resolution provoked more uncertainty than disagreement.
The resolution calls on the city to elevate its commitment to racial equity and social justice and increase resources devoted to those efforts as needed.
After some discussion of what particular actions could be taken, Bergus said, I think the intent of our resolution tonight is to be that initial commitment. It makes sense to me that it will be broader than ultimately where we want to land. We will get the specifics, and I think were counting on each other and the public to hold us accountable.
I view it a little bit as a constitution, she said. Like an overarching guiding document that that will be essentially our loadstar as we work on each of these items.
Teague added that is will be one of the issues the Truth and Reconciliation Commission will consider.
Most of the resolution focuses on police issues.
City Manager Geoff Fruin has been tasked with preparing a report on the involvement of the Iowa City Police Department in the incident on June 3, when law enforcement officers under the command of the Iowa State Patrol used flash-bang grenades and tear gas against protesters on Dubuque Street who were marching to I-80.
Fruin said he intends to ask the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) to review the incident. The DCI is often used to investigate actions of local law enforcement agencies, and reviewed both shootings of suspects by ICPD officers that occurred in 2019.
The resolution calls from Fruin to deliver his report by Aug. 1.
Other parts of the resolution call for:
a report on any military-grade equipment ICPD has
a prohibition on the use of tear gas, rubber bullets and flashbangs against peaceful protesters
a total ban on the use of chokeholds or any other maneuver that cuts off oxygen or blood flow
a review of how ICPD is ensure its officers comply with its policy on the use of body cams
requiring ICPD officers to intervene and stop any use of excessive force by another law enforcement officer and immediately report the incident to a supervisor
ensure that ICPD hiring practices prohibit employment of anyone who committed serious misconduct at another law enforcement agency
prepare a report on how the Community Police Review Board can more effectively provide oversight of ICPD
publish online a detailed expenditure summary of the ICPD budget
ask Iowa Citys state legislators to work on any changes in state law needed for the city to make the changes included in the resolution
But the biggest change regarding the police department was addressed in the first of the resolutions 17 sections.
By December 15, 2020, develop a preliminary plan to restructure the Iowa City Police Department (ICPD) towards community policing, including, but not limited to, reduction of the publics reliance on police in non-violent situations through the use of unarmed professionals, and consideration of community policing initiatives in other cities, including, but not limited to, Minneapolis, MN, Camden, NJ, Los Angeles, CA and San Francisco, CA.
The Dec. 15 date is intended to provide enough time to develop a thorough preliminary plan, but make sure it is presented to the city council before it starts work on the ICPDs next budget.
At the end of the special session, Councilmember Weiner said she had one addition to make to the resolution. She suggested making Juneteenth an annual occasion commemorating the news of the abolition of slavery reaching enslaved people in Texas, the last major stronghold of the Confederacy a city holiday. The council unanimously approved the addition.
Staring next year, Juneteenth which is celebrated on June 19 will be an official city holiday, replacing one of its existing holidays.
In addition to the resolution, the city council also approved a measure empowering the mayor to write a letter to the Johnson County Attorney, asking her to dismiss all outstanding charges against people who participated in the protests.
Councilmembers Pauline Taylor and Susan Mims were unsure if all the charges should be dropped, since some including two OWIs and one charge of possession of firearms under the influence were more serious than simple traffic violations. Salih insisted that all the charges be dropped, because she believed they were the result of the police targeting protesters.
Councilmember John Thomas said he had gone back and forth on whether all the charges or just some of them should be dropped. But he eventually decided the historic moment the city is experiencing made dropping all the charges appropriate.
Mayor Teague said he agreed, and he also pointed out that Iowa City and Johnson County frequently use a light hand when it comes to policing some infractions.
We see it all the time for football games here, Teague said. Theres an acceptance of behavior that would not tolerated any other time. And of course, once the game is over, things are back to normal.
Teague said he and other officials had been having discussions regarding safety with IFR organizers, and those conversations would continue.
All the councilmembers voted in favor of the letter, except Bergus, who abstained because voting on an issue regarding criminal charges was a potential conflict of interest for her as a practicing attorney.
By the end of the special formal meeting, the city council had addressed all the demands IFR had directed to the city. (IFR has other demands directed to the Iowa City Community School District and Gov. Kim Reynolds.)
On its Instagram page, IFR celebrated the quick action by the city council.
IFR announced on Sunday, it had no protests scheduled for either Wednesday or Thursday.
Originally posted here:
- In apparent U-turn, Trump tweets photo of himself wearing a mask: 'Many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask' - MSN Money - July 21st, 2020
- Hong Kong is Freer Than You Think - TIME - July 21st, 2020
- Death and Your Federal Government - AAF - American Action Forum - July 21st, 2020
- Trump tweets photo of himself wearing a mask in apparent U-turn: Many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask - MarketWatch - July 21st, 2020
- PFC awards: don't wing it - BR Research - Business Recorder - July 21st, 2020
- Remember These Headlines? - Highlands Current - July 5th, 2020
- Peril of face recognition tech: Facing the end of freedom, one face at a time. Supreme Court must intervene - Times of India - July 5th, 2020
- Navy Will Mothball Its First Four Littoral Combat Ships In Nine Months If Congress Lets It - The Drive - July 5th, 2020
- West Virginia Week in Review - July 4, 2020 - West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources - July 5th, 2020
- Higher gas taxes, other tax increases to greet Virginians on Wednesday - The Center Square - July 5th, 2020
- Controversial school immunization bill signed into law - BerthoudSurveyor.com - July 5th, 2020
- Defunding The Police Has Traction In Dallas, But What's On The Table? - KERA News - July 5th, 2020
- Ready, set, go! Early voting starts this week - East Valley Tribune - July 5th, 2020
- NSWC Dahlgren Division mathematician wins three awards for innovation impacting high performance computing - fredericksburg.today - July 5th, 2020
- Iceland Reopening With Its Economic Freedom Largely Intact - Daily Signal - June 24th, 2020
- Tips and Murmurs: is the Collaery case about to open up? - Crikey - June 24th, 2020
- Around Town: WWII Museum offers Victory Six Swing Band July 2 - Journal Record - June 24th, 2020
- In CA: The mask argument continues; schools jump into the debate on racism and policing - USA TODAY - June 24th, 2020
- Rep. Dina Titus urges Appropriations Committee to block Trump Administration from conducting explosive nuclear testing in Nevada - KLAS - 8 News Now - June 24th, 2020
- Everything To Know About The H-1B Visa That Has Been Suspended Till The End Of 2020 - ScoopWhoop - June 24th, 2020
- White Jews fled to the suburbs. Here's why that matters today. - The Jewish News of Northern California - June 24th, 2020
- GOP members of House Foreign Affairs Committee urge Trump to reconsider US troop withdrawal from Germany - Washington Examiner - June 24th, 2020
- Two thousand march with call to defund police; Council's $4.1M order was a 'drop in the bucket' - Cambridge Day - June 24th, 2020
- Quebec To Introduce The Most Punitive Privacy Laws In Canada - With Fines Of Up To $25 Million - Privacy - Canada - Mondaq News Alerts - June 24th, 2020
- For one Iraqi refugee, Columbus finally feels like home this World Refugee Day - The Columbus Dispatch - June 20th, 2020
- Troy H. Middleton's name to be removed from LSU's main library - Greater Baton Rouge Business Report - June 20th, 2020
- Salomone: Juneteenth and Today - Greenwich Free Press - June 20th, 2020
- Latest Texas news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 pm CDT - KBTX - June 20th, 2020
- Dear Tito: Heres where to cut tax, make grants to save SA. MUST READ! #budget - BizNews - June 20th, 2020
- Debt settlement: An effective way of reducing debt - AZ Big Media - June 13th, 2020
- Strengthening our armed forces - The Highland County Press - June 13th, 2020
- Defunding the Police Is Not Nearly Enough - New York Magazine - June 13th, 2020
- Advocates Push To "Defund The Police" While Officials Call For Reforms - WVXU - June 13th, 2020
- Burrows disappointed with sports budget cuts EyeWitness News - EyeWitness News - June 13th, 2020
- Over $722,000 awarded to protect and improve Florida military installations - Florida Politics - June 13th, 2020
- Global Perspective: As US, China lock horns, Japan, others must think about ways ahead - The Mainichi - June 13th, 2020
- Golf course move on Caven Point is obscene; Honor the flag | Letters - nj.com - June 13th, 2020
- The return of the tea party | News, Sports, Jobs - Minot Daily News - June 13th, 2020
- PM Modi says command and control regime over, lets plug and play - Hindustan Times - June 13th, 2020
- June 12: She clearly does not understand what it is. Readers react to RCMP head disputing systemic racism, plus other letters to the editor - The... - June 13th, 2020
- Shame on Olmsted Falls mayor for his rant about the cost of policing George Floyd protest - cleveland.com - June 13th, 2020
- If youre surprised by how the police are acting, you dont understand US history - The Guardian - June 6th, 2020
- Opinion: The conservative path to a fairer country - National Post - June 6th, 2020
- The Movement To Defund DC Police - Washington City Paper - June 6th, 2020
- Tailoring the Socioeconomic Response to COVID-19 in Peacebuilding Contexts - UNDP - June 6th, 2020
- Nigeria In The Eyes Of The World On Freedoms - The Nigerian Voice - June 6th, 2020
- OPINION: NIGERIA IN THE EYES OF THE WORLD ON FREEDOMS - thewillnigeria - June 6th, 2020
- A Leg Up in the Search for Prosperity: Economic Freedom - Governing - June 1st, 2020
- COVID-19 reveals conflict, compassion of Kansans wrestling with threat of pandemic - Leavenworth Times - June 1st, 2020
- Rich Lowry: The return of the tea party - Salt Lake Tribune - June 1st, 2020
- To Rebuild the Economy, India Needs to Be Atmanirbhar in Ideas - The Wire - June 1st, 2020
- Beyond the doomsday machine: Reimagining economic policies and practice in a post-Covid world - Daily Maverick - June 1st, 2020
- Opinion:Buying the Third Congressional District | LAMonitor.com - Los Alamos Monitor - June 1st, 2020
- The National WWII Museum Celebrates 20 Years of Telling the Story of the American Experience in World War II - My New Orleans - June 1st, 2020
- COVID-19 and the future of world trade | VOX, CEPR Policy Portal - voxeu.org - June 1st, 2020
- CBD Sydney: Traces of loyalty in hunt for Turnbull superspreaders - Sydney Morning Herald - June 1st, 2020
- More than $250000 spent in race for Mehaffie's 106th House District seat; money mostly coming from PACs - Middletown Press and Journal - June 1st, 2020
- 'Centre Has Offered Nothing Against Jobs Lost By Informal Workers, Circular Migrants' | - IndiaSpend - June 1st, 2020
- The world in front of the mirror - Explica - June 1st, 2020
- Violation of service code - The Tribune India - May 11th, 2020
- Letters to the Editor 5-10-2020: Pannebecker rebuttals - The Macomb Daily - May 11th, 2020
- Godfrey calls on Washington to immediately approve more stimulus - Patch.com - May 11th, 2020
- Are you left-wing or right-wing? Probably both. The Oxford Student - Oxford Student - May 11th, 2020
- For the Europe of tomorrow - EuroScientist - May 11th, 2020
- Framework for the Management of COVID-19 Funds in Nigeria under the Treasury Single Account - Proshare Nigeria Limited - May 11th, 2020
- Nikes Air Jordan 1 Has Entered the Influencer Age - The Ringer - May 11th, 2020
- Shaw warns that Freedom Mobile isn't adding as many customers as planned due to COVID-19 - CBC.ca - April 11th, 2020
- Clarification of UCSC policy and expectations on funding researchers during the temporary cessation of non-essential on-campus research due to... - April 11th, 2020
- MI Governor Leads the Way with Water Reconnection Order - Natural Resources Defense Council - April 11th, 2020
- How S.C. lawmakers increase their odds of staying in power - The Nerve - March 26th, 2020
- MTS Awarded Seismic Simulation Project Valued At Over $70 Million For China's National Facility For Earthquake Engineering Simulation At Tianjin... - March 26th, 2020
- Letters to the editor, March 26, 2020 | Opinion - Idaho Press-Tribune - March 26th, 2020
- Junk rating this week may be least of SA's problems - Fin24 - March 26th, 2020
- Junk rating likely the least of South Africas problems - BusinessTech - March 26th, 2020
- Brexiteer claims coronavirus could spell end of eurozone but there's a catch - Express.co.uk - March 26th, 2020
- Statement of the Hellenic Chapter of Republicans Overseas- Abroad on Greek Independence Day - The National Herald - March 26th, 2020
- Governor calls for stronger collaboration with Kilili - Marianas Variety - March 26th, 2020
- Will the market stabilise in the second half of 2020, what experts say? - Kalkine Media - March 26th, 2020
- A pandemic, an economic blow and the big fix - The Hindu - March 24th, 2020
- 12:28 Heritage Foundation: Armenia needs to improve judicial effectiveness to have freer economy - Information-Analytic Agency NEWS.am - March 24th, 2020