As our country faces uncertainty, discord and deep pain, we know it is having a significant impact in our community and rightfully leading to an examination of our own past, our current practices and the changes we have made and must continue to make for our future.
The killing of George Floyd was wrong. Many people have courageously exercised their right to be heard through peaceful protests and meaningful conversations. At the same time, recent days have seen destruction, violence and disregard for fellow human beings, and we can’t lose sight of the fact that what precipitates these events are the repeated images, over the years, of people of color losing their lives unjustly. But it’s also more than that: it’s years of institutionalized and government sanctioned racism that has robbed generation after generation of African Americans of their human and civil rights.
As a government entity we represent a force guilty of past oppression. Over the years, local governments have enforced restrictive zoning and covenants, segregation, curfews, made infrastructure decisions to isolate people of color, and permitted disparate enforcement of laws, just to name several practices used. As a local government we must take a leadership role in being an agent for change and be a part of the solution.
A first step for Aurora was the creation early this year of our Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. As this effort moves forward, its work will help us learn and give us the tools to be change agents.
It is vital that in addition to raising our voices in support of what is right and calling out what is wrong, we also listen and seek to learn from each other. From these lessons, we will grow and make critical changes. City leaders are eager to hear, learn and act.
Aurora is made stronger by the many voices and backgrounds of those who call it home. We welcome coming together with our community for the shared purpose of eliminating racial inequity and lifting up outcomes for all.
Mike Coffman, Mayor
Jim Twombly, City Manager
Nicole Johnston, Mayor Pro Tem, Council Member, Ward II
Crystal Murillo, Council Member, Ward I
Marsha Berzins, Council Member, Ward III
Juan Marcano, Council Member, Ward IV
Alison Coombs, Council Member, Ward V
Françoise Bergan, Council Member, Ward VI
Curtis Gardner, Council Member, At Large
Dave Gruber, Council Member, At Large
Allison Hiltz, Council Member, At Large
Angela Lawson, Council Member, At Large