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. Even though this event happened many miles away, Lewisville is not outside this damaged system and Lewisville has to be part of any lasting solution.
Toward that end, Mayor Rudy Durham expressed a desire to hear directly from the African-American community. At his direction, city staff is creating a community group that will listen and learn together and then help build a path forward for Lewisville. This process will result in recommendations being submitted to City Council and city management.
This group is being called Mayor’s Commission – Listen Learn Lead. The name reflects the need for city officials to listen to under-represented communities and the need for those residents to be heard. It also mirrors the leadership model of George Washington that people should first listen and learn before they try to lead.
The projected timeline includes seven weekly two-hour sessions starting in early July and running to the end of August.
Timeline of weekly sessions
- Thursday, July 9 – Listen. “What is your experience as a black man or black woman in the United States? What is your experience as a black man or black woman in Lewisville?”
- Thursday, July 16 – Listen. “What resources or opportunities are lacking in Lewisville?”
Thursday, July 23 – Learn. City of Lewisville recruitment, hiring, training, and discipline
- Thursday, July 30 – Learn. Lewisville Police Department training and protocols (link to Police Department Transparency page)
- Thursday, August 6 – Learn. Outreach, purchasing, and other administrative policies and practices
- Thursday, August 13 – Lead. Presentation of findings from earlier input, identify action steps
- Thursday, August 20 – Lead Session. Finalize action step recommendations
Community Contributors for the Commission:
Joan Parks Saunders
Alvin Turner Jr.
Donna Barron, City Manager
Melinda Galler, Asst. City Manager
Kevin Deaver, Police Chief
James Kunke, Community Relations Director (facilitator)
Rotating council member