At the 2 p.m. City Council meeting on June 15, Roanoke City Council unanimously requested an ordinance be prepared to establish the Roanoke Equity and Empowerment Advisory Board. The idea for this Board came about during the development of the City’s Comprehensive Plan update, specifically related to the inclusion of Interwoven Equity as a fundamental policy. While the Comprehensive Plan continues its way through the adoption process, in light of recent national events focused on systemic and institutional racism, along with the call for further action locally, the Council deemed it appropriate to proceed with forming the Board as called for in the draft plan.
The Board will be a permanent Council-appointed body consisting of seven citizens and two members of Roanoke City Council. The purpose of the Board shall be as follows:
- To review the priorities for Interwoven Equity in City Plan 2040
- To develop proposed implementation plans for the policies and actions identified for each priority
- To review all existing City policies and regulations
- To recommend to Council changes that are necessary to rid Roanoke’s local government of policies and procedures that promote inequity and limit empowerment
City Council will vote on the requested ordinance in July, followed by a call for applicants to serve on the Board. The Council will make appointments to the Board at a meeting shortly thereafter. As noted in the draft Comprehensive Plan update, the Board will play a vital role in ensuring Roanoke remains both a diverse and inclusive community, with access and opportunities available to all including education, housing, healthcare, employment, and quality of life. Roanoke recognizes how these opportunities are interconnected and that barriers exist limiting opportunity for underserved communities, particularly the African American community and views this as a critical step in further addressing such opportunities and barriers.
For questions, please contact the City Manager’s Office at [email protected] or 540-853-2333.