To the editor:

As the grandmother of twin biracial teenage granddaughters and someone who appreciates living in our diverse, historic city, I am grateful that our community is taking seriously the call to action to address racial equities. About a year ago following the tragic death of George Floyd, Mayor Driscoll convened local stakeholders to form a race equity task force aimed at assessing how our community could recognize and better confront systemic racial injustices.

The task force has just completed its initial assessment and several of their recommendations were included in the city budget recently adopted by the City Council with a 10-1 vote, in particular the hiring of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) director for the city and implementation of a body camera program for the Salem Police Department. Both of these recommendations are aimed at ensuring our local government is inclusive, well trained and more accountable

DEI positions exist in several communities (including Beverly and Lynn) and body cameras are being worn by more and more police departments throughout the commonwealth. I can’t fathom why Councilor Dibble did not support these worthwhile public safety investments.

Councilor Dibble, showing up at the city’s Juneteenth flag raising and clapping loudly at the speeches, a few days after proposing to cut all funding for the DEI position is not the type of leadership our city needs or what my granddaughters deserve. Let’s keep Kim Driscoll as our mayor.

Deborah Greel

Salem

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