’Conversation on Racism’ on Springs MAC agenda

New chair Maite Iturri hopes to give community council chance to articulate values, goals|

A “Conversation on Racism” resolution is on the agenda for the Tuesday, June 23 meeting of the Springs Municipal Advisory Council, placed on the agenda by incoming chair of the MAC, Maite Iturri.

As well as being Iturri’s first meeting as chair, the June 23 gathering – which will again be held on Zoom – also welcomes Maricarmen Reyes to the dais. Reyes is the Sonoma Valley Community Health Center’s outreach and event coordinator; she replaces Omar Paz, Jr., who resigned from the board earlier this year. She will fill the seat reserved for a representative from the nonprofit community on the seven-member council, a two-year seat.

The Springs MAC has struggled to find a role in its first year, but with the upheavals in the community in recent months, particularly due to the impact of coronavirus on the Hispanic population, the council hopes to provide a strong voice to county government about the issues that concern the Springs.

“There's been a layer of racism, structural and otherwise, that has been a part of our history and our community for a long time.” Maite Iturri

It was Iturri who added the “Conversation on Racism” to the agenda, in the wake of the killing of George Floyd and other headline-making events. She is also the principal of El Verano Elementary School.

“There's been a layer of racism, structural and otherwise, that has been a part of our history and our community for a long time,” said Iturri. “So it just felt like it was really important to have that conversation now, considering the MAC has a year under our belt, and it's time to take on some of the bigger issues in our community.” The MAC’s stated purpose is to “act as a bridge for communication between the County and local residents and businesses."

“My hope in putting this on the agenda is that we are able to have the conversation and perhaps come up with a statement from the MAC to ground us on what our values are,” said Iturri, who is also chair of the Sonoma Valley Unified School District Equity and Inclusion Task Force.

To see the meeting’s agenda and packet, visit sonomacounty.ca.gov/Springs-Municipal-Advisory-Council/Calendar.

To attend the Zoom meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m., on June 23, or submit public comment, contact karina.garcia@sonoma-country.org.

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