Shall it be City policy that the membership of City boards and commissions reflect the interests and contributions of both men and women of all races, ethnicities, sexual orientations
and types of disabilities and that City officers and agencies support the nomination,
appointment or confirmation of female, minority and disabled candidates to fill seats on those bodies?
WordPress does not have the emoticon to express the exasperation I felt after reading Proposition D.
Currently, boards and commissions in the City government must be broadly representative of the communities they serve which includes a diversified group based on ethnicity, race, age, sex, and sexual orientation.
Proposition D would add those with disabilities into the group and make it an official City policy that the boards and commissions must reflect the diversity of the community. In other words, if the community make up is 40% women and 60% men than the appointees must fall into the group of 40% women and 60% men. The proposition also strongly suggests that the current empty seats be filled with women, minorities or those with disabilities.
Adding qualified disabled personnel is great step forward to strengthen the diversity of the government. However, the proposition does not go far enough; the proposal omits religion and social status from the group. A Muslim may have different interests than a Christian who would have different interests from an Atheist. Also, a wealthy individual may not understand the needs of those with less wealth and vice-versa.
I am also a little bit wary on the propositions goal to create an exact representation of the diversity of the community. Having an exact representation would be nice; but, if by doing so, superior candidates are denied the position, that may hurt the City in the long run. The proposal reeks of Affirmative Action and we all know how that turned out.
There is also an add-on in the proposition which has the Commission on the Status of Women gather and analyze data in regards to the above groups at the end of the second and fourth year of a mayor’s term. Having statistical data is a good thing. Assigning an entire commission to do the job is a waste of resources.
The City already has the data in their HR databases. It would not be too difficult to have one of the software developers in the City create a script to retrieve and organize the data. This would take at most a day. Then the data can be placed online so that anyone can take a look at any time.
I support the inclusion of those with disabilities but feel the proposition does not go far enough. I also do not appreciate the bureaucratic bullshit appended at the end. I will most likely abstain from voting on this proposition.