Making the case for change: Why creating a new selection committee with community make sense.
HAMILTON – HARRC Executive Director, Lyndon George, and City of Hamilton’s Committee Against Racism Chair, Taimur Qasim, issued the following statement regarding the Hamilton City Council vote in support of creating a new Hamilton Police Services Board Selection Committee.
Taimur Qasim - “As Chair and Member of the Committee Against Racism, I believe that City Council’s decision today to update Hamilton City by-laws to create a selection committee to assist with the selection of the Citizen Appointee to the Hamilton Police Services Board is a big step forward in addressing some of the hate and racism within the city. This new Selection Committee gives the community an opportunity to voice their thoughts on who they feel best represents them as the Citizen Appointee on the Hamilton Police Services Board. It also gives Councilors another opportunity to engage with the community to better understand their concerns and lived experiences. I thank everyone who contributed to the development and progression of this proposal, as well as the City Council for listening and agreeing.”
Executive Director Lyndon George - “Diversity is about having a seat at the table, inclusion is having a voice at the table, and belonging is having that voice be heard. For the first time, the community will have an opportunity to recommend to Council who should represent Hamilton on the Police Service Board. It’s an important step in the right direction. During the last council meeting before the October 24th election, city councilors voted 11-3 in favour of the Audit, Finance and Administration report creating a new selection committee. The committee includes 6 community representatives and 6 city council members. The process to create a new selection process for the citizen appointee to the Police Service Board was initiated by the city’s Committee Against Racism Citizen Report outlining the urgent need to include equity-seeking community groups in the decision-making process.
In the weeks ahead, HARRC will continue to keep Hamilton residents updated with the committee selection process.