Candidates at forum 2

Cedar Rapids mayoral candidates speak out on plans to retain diversity in the community

At an event hosted by LULAC on Friday, the three Cedar Rapids mayoral candidates answered questions on a panel about diversity, equity and inclusion, otherwise known as D.E.I.

In late August of 2020, the City of Cedar Rapids announced it would be looking for a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion officer to train city staff on D.E.I. The plans was to sustain an inclusive environment within the city.

Now over a year later, the position remains open. Mayor Hart said it is a difficult position to fill and the city wants the perfect fit for the community.

Andrews said that the work given to the D.E.I. officer would be an uphill battle and would need support from the mayor and city staff.

“I would want to ensure that they have the support behind them to get the job done. I also think we would also need to leverage outside consultants as well,” said Andrews.

The work for D.E.I. goes beyond the city walls. One of the questions from LULAC included how candidates would keep companies that attract diverse workforces in Cedar Rapids.

Andrews said we should focus on the businesses already here.

“We should have many more entrepreneurs of color, and opportunities to support entrepreneurs of color,” said Andrews.

As each candidate hopes to bring in more well paying jobs to attract a workforce, they were also asked how they would help retain diversity in Cedar Rapids.

Read the full article posted by CBS2 here.

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