Apparently frustrated with a survey that didn’t tell them much, aldermen on the Human Services Committee this week rejected a staff recommendation to do another survey about the city’s equity and inclusion efforts.
Alderman Robin Rue Simmons, 5th Ward, said, “We know what our needs are. They haven’t changed in a really long time. At this point we should be in action plan mode.”
Alderman Cicely Fleming, 9th Ward, said, “We can’t do anything with answers to ‘How you feel.’ We can’t make decisions on what to do from that.”
Alderman Eleanor Revelle, 7th Ward, said the city could always change direction later and dosurveys focused on whether it’s actually providing the services that residents need.
The city’s equity and empowerment coordinator, Pat Efiom, said that she hoped to make more efforts to reach out to community residents who don’t participate now.
But Fleming said, “People are not going to be rushing to town hall meetings if there’s not follow-through. People feel a little burned out.”
“We have to be really clear about what we’re looking for from people,” Fleming said, “Just to engage for the sake of engagement is not what I envision for empowerment.”
Rue Simmons suggested staff should reach out more to the faith community and attend more aldermanic ward meetings as a way to connect.