Like many of you, the weeks since the tragic death of George Floyd have been emotional and difficult for city officials, leaders, and staff. Our presence outside the metro area has not stopped challenging questions, concerns, and conversations from coming to the center of our community.

As a city, we want to actively participate in building a welcoming, inclusive city for all people. We believe facing up to issues of racism and inequity is not solely the responsibility of large, highly diverse cities. These problems can arise anywhere, and we must be proactive in our efforts for unity.

As elected and appointed city officials, we understand there is a historic role of local government in creating and maintaining systemic racism. It’s our responsibility to listen and learn about the experiences of people in our community and create policies, programs, and services that are equitable for all people.

Our determination to be proactive is reflected in the city’s Racial Equity Initiative, a program started in 2018. Our Initiative includes training specific to race, equity, and local government from nationally-respected leaders. It also includes tools and practices to help us incorporate an equity lens into our decisions and policies, so we produce better outcomes for all people. You can learn more about the program here: www.ci.monticello.mn.us/equity.

We’re proud that we’ve seen these sentiments echoed in the community. During the drafting of the Monticello 2040 Vision, residents expressed their commitment to being an inclusive city. That belief is explicitly expressed in the Vision Statement adopted by City Council and outlined in our core value statements. You can see these at: www.ci.monticello.mn.us/vision.

Please understand, our Race Equity Initiative is an ongoing effort. We still have a lot to learn and a lot of work to do, but we will not stop striving to increase our awareness and advance that awareness into action. We welcome the opportunity to work with other local organizations and community partners to help people move through uncomfortable conversations toward greater understanding.

We believe in the power to make positive change together, and we hope you will join us as we listen, learn, and grow as a community.

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