Committee for Equity and Belonging
The Village of South Elgin Board of Trustees approved the formation of a Committee for Equity and Belonging during the February 6, 2023 Board Meeting.
A task force of community members met several times in 2022 and 2023 to discuss and outline the key aspects of the committee, and they are fully detailed below.
In brief, the intent and purpose of the Committee for Equity & Belonging includes:
- Facilitating community engagement avenues such as surveys, one-on-one meetings and community meetings;
- Communicating with our community by providing resources in varying languages, targeting communication to underserved groups, and cultivating resources in a variety of formats including through Village staff, printed publications, social media, and the website;
- Supporting equity and inclusion in the community;
- Celebrating diversity through hosting events and highlighting the Village’s history and diversity.
The Village Board seeks members for this newly formed committee. An application for membership consideration is available here.
See below for full details about the new committee, including: core values and requirements for meetings, membership, roles, term lengths and more.
COMMITTEE FOR EQUITY & BELONGING
§ 32.70 ESTABLISHED
There is hereby established a standing Committee for Equity & Belonging.
§ 32.71 PURPOSE
The Village of South Elgin strives to be a community that is safe, welcoming, respectful, and engaging to all people in all aspects of Village life, including, but not limited to, employment, commerce, housing, recreation, faith practices, access to resources, and civic engagement. The definition of "all people" is inclusive and covers race; color; sex; pregnancy; gender identity; gender expression; sexual orientation; religion or no religion; veteran status; mental, intellectual, and emotional abilities or disabilities; physical abilities or disabilities; genetic information; health condition; age; economic status and income; profession; education level; national origin, ethnicity, or immigration status; language(s) spoken, written, or read; dress and other customs and choices; appearance; and any other characteristics of diversity.
The Village of South Elgin acknowledges the existence of racism, discrimination, and inequitable treatment in our country and is committed to being a community where all feel a sense of belonging. To realize this goal will require the ongoing commitment of residents, elected officials, and staff.
It shall be the intent and purpose of the Committee for Equity & Belonging to:
(A) Learn more about our community through a variety of community engagement avenues including, but not limited to, surveys, one-on-one meetings, community meetings, existing demographic data sources, and suggestion boxes. Over time, use this data to create metrics and track progress or setbacks.
(B) Communicate with our community by providing resources in varying languages, targeting communication to underserved groups, and cultivating resources in a variety of formats including through Village staff, printed publications, social media, and the website.
(C) Support equity and inclusion in the community by creating targeted programs, reviewing Village policies and procedures, and advising the Village Board regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion.
(D) Celebrate diversity through hosting events and highlighting the Village’s history and diversity.
(E) Perform such other duties as determined to be necessary or convenient to effectuate the goals set forth in this Section.
§ 32.72 CORE VALUES
Diversity is the WHO – all the similarities and differences we each bring, including experiences we’ve had; choices we’ve made; and characteristics we’re born with as well as those that grow or evolve over time.
Equity is the WHAT - ensuring EACH OF US has the opportunity to fully participate, succeed and grow, supported by systems and processes that appropriately take into account our individual needs.
Inclusion is the How - the extent to which we are involved and feel our talents are recognized, leveraged and applied; our uniqueness is celebrated; we are fully able to contribute; and we are welcomed, valued, respected, heard, understood and supported.
Belongingness is the WHEN and WHY – the human emotional need to be an accepted member of a group is met and existing in a culture that invites people to be themselves, encourages anyone to feel comfortable in their own skin.
§ 32.73 ORGANIZATION & MEMBERSHIP
(A) Membership. The Committee for Equity & Belonging shall consist of nine members appointed by the Village President with the advice and consent of the Village Board of Trustees. In making appointments to the committee, the Village President may give preference to candidates that will foster a committee consisting of a diverse mix of residents encompassing different races, ethnicities, religions, genders, sexual orientation, ages, disabilities (or having an immediate family member that is disabled), languages
spoken, veteran status and socio-economic differences.
(B) Chairpersons. Two Chairpersons shall serve as Co-Chairs and shall be appointed by the Village President from amongst the members of such Committee with the advice and consent of the Board of Trustees and the Committee for Equity & Belonging.
(C) Terms. The first appointees shall serve for the following terms, or until their respective successors, in similar manner, have been appointed and qualified: three for one year, three for two years, and three for three years, including the Chairpersons. Successors to each member so appointed shall serve three-year terms except that vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term of the membership vacated. The term of each member shall expire April 30 of the year of the expiration of each respective term of office. Each
member shall not serve more than three, full consecutive terms.
(D) Vacancies. Vacancies on said Committee shall be filled for the unexpired term of the member whose place has been vacant in the same manner in which original appointments are required to be made.
(E) Removal. A Committee member may be removed at any time by the Village President, subject to the advice and consent of the Board of Trustees.
(F) Secretary. The Village Administrator shall staff the committee with a secretary, who shall be a village employee and not a member of the Committee. The secretary shall take minutes of each meeting and shall assist the Committee in preparing its annual report and other reports as necessary.
(G) Ex-officio members. Up to five additional ex-officio members may be appointed by the Village President with the advice and consent of the Board of Trustees. Ex-officio members may include topic experts, students, staff, and up to two Village Board members. Terms for Ex-officio members will be determined at the time of appointment.
§ 32.74 MEETINGS; QUORUM
The Committee for Equity & Belonging shall meet monthly and additionally as deemed necessary by the Cochairpersons. A quorum shall consist of five members of the Committee, and no official business shall be conducted without a quorum present. The Committee may adopt its own rules of procedures not inconsistent with the provisions of this subchapter or this code.
§ 32.75 ANNUAL REPORT
The Committee shall report at least annually in writing to the Village President and Board of Trustees. The annual report shall cover the activities of the Committee for the preceding fiscal year.
§ 32.76 COMPENSATION
No member of the Committee shall receive any compensation for service.