GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grand Haven City Council voted Monday to reaffirm its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
The move was in response to the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners eliminating its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Department on Jan. 3, a move led by commissioners with conservative political action committee Ottawa Impact.
The resolution says the city “respects, values and celebrates the unique attributes, characteristics and perspectives that make people who they are. The pillars of equity, diversity and inclusion are vital to a vibrant community, and we believe that bringing diverse individuals together and encouraging all voices to be heard allows us to build a stronger community. The City of Grand Haven upholds these pillars as crucial to healthy people and a healthy community.”
It says the city supported the Ottawa County DEI Department when it opened, and worked with it to help city employees and volunteers “understand differences and bridge divides among people.”
“While we regret the loss of these resources and our partnership with Ottawa County in this important work, the City of Grand Haven reaffirms the tenets of its Diversity Statement and its commitment to making our City a welcoming, inclusive, and accessible community for all,” the resolution says.
The resolution was unanimously approved by the council.
“I’d just like to compliment the staff and the Human Relations Committee for putting this together so well and so quickly,” Grand Haven Mayor Catherine McNally said. “I actually would like to commend Councilwoman (Karen) Lowe for inserting something last meeting on our agenda, which I don’t like to see happen, but I think it was an important thing to do in a timely way.”
Her statement was echoed by the other councilmembers.
“This is a statement that we have to say,” Councilmember Michael Fritz added. “I strongly believe in it, and I like the way it was done. I’ve got to say thank you to everybody that worked hard on it, and it’s a statement that we as a council and as a city really has to stand up for.”