Since the Lake Oswego City Council announced it would be forming a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force, RtR has expressed excitement about the opportunity while also warning that this effort needs to be more than just a box-checking exercise (You can read our open letter to the City here). While creating a DEI Task Force is an important step for a city with the well-earned nickname of Lake No Negro, we can’t overlook the importance of the process. Specifically, if done carelessly, this process could go a long way towards discouraging future DEI efforts in general and local government participation from marginalized community members in particular. Remember, the impetus for this task force came from long held and often ignored frustrations of community members of color. That these perspectives are barely represented in the decision making process for the DEI task force is concerning in itself. Combine that with the structural issues, like allocating all of one spot on the task force to represent people of color, and murmurs that some decision makers aren’t treating this effort with the seriousness it deserves, and it becomes clear that we, as a community, need to let the City know that this is important. With that in mind, the next City Council meeting addressing the DEI task force will be held on Sep. 17 at LO City Hall at 3 pm (because nothing says “we want our meetings to be accessible” like holding them at 3 pm on a workday). We encourage all concerned community members who can make it out to attend and let your voices be heard.