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City launches Mayor’s Commission

Listen Learn Lead
Post Date:June 19, 2020
The brutal and needless death of George Floyd has brought a new focus nationwide on the inequality that still exists in our country and on the need for systemic change. Understanding that change starts at a local level, the City of Lewisville, at Mayor Durham’s behest, is establishing the Mayor’s Commission – Listen Learn Lead.

"Like so many other people, I am repeatedly shocked when we witness acts of extreme violence based on race,” said Mayor Rudy Durham. “Being shocked is not enough. This commission gives us a chance as City leaders to listen to members of the African-American community to better understand their perspective and to learn from their experiences.”

The name, Mayor’s Commission – Listen Learn Lead, reflects the need for city officials to listen to under-represented communities and the need for those residents to be heard. Information and insight gained from this process will help build a path forward for Lewisville and will result in recommendations being submitted to City Council and city management.

“One of Lewisville’s greatest strengths is our cultural diversity, but we have work to do if we want it to remain a strength,” said Mayor Durham. “I am excited to have this opportunity."

The projected timeline includes seven weekly two-hour sessions starting in early July and running to the end of August. The group will be made up of about 20 people. There also will be a way for people not a part of the group to add their stories and offer their input.

The first one or two sessions will be a time to Listen. City officials present will listen to the 20 contributors describing their experience as a black man or black woman in the U.S. and in Lewisville, and about what resources or opportunities they feel are lacking in Lewisville.

The next three sessions will be a time to Learn. City staff will present information about the city's policies and practices. After each presentation, contributors will be encouraged to provide feedback, ask questions, and make suggestions.

The final two sessions will be a time to Lead. Staff will present findings related to the ideas and suggestions received from the group during earlier sessions, and then work with the contributors on a set of recommendations to present to city management and City Council. If this proposed timeline holds, recommendations would be brought to City Council as early as September.

An online process is being developed for members of the public to monitor the Commission’s work and add feedback. It will be housed on the city website (cityoflewisville.com) with a prominent link on the homepage.