Report Outlines How to Be More Welcoming

May 21, 2018 07:46 PM

(ABC 6 News)-- It’s a journey that started three years ago with a goal of making Austin more welcoming.

Monday night, the city council hears a plan for doing that.


"We've defined a welcoming community as one where an individual feels like they are part of the community and that they can contribute to their full potential," Austin Human Rights Commission Chair Jason Baskin said.

It's something every community could say, “there are things we could do to make us more welcoming."

Now, the city of Austin has a blueprint to help make it happen. It's called the Strategic Welcoming Plan. It's a follow-up to the Austin Human Right's Commission's "Welcoming Report."

"Which really helped us to identify what are we doing well and what are the barriers that exist to us becoming a truly welcoming community," Jason Baskin said.

It led to the identification of 7 key recommendations that could be implemented over the next 5 years.

"There are two broad categories,” Austin City Administrator Craig Clark said. “One is enhancing local multi-cultural leadership capacity."

"Being more proactive in recruiting a more diverse group of people onto boards and commissions and non-profits" Jason Baskin added.

And part of that could be the creation of an honorary city council position.

"To really give people an opportunity to participate in local government,” the Human Rights Commission’s Jason Baskin explained.

"And then enhancing communication between communities," City Administrator Craig Clark said.

“Different groups are working on the same issues and maybe not working together as well as we all could," Jason Baskin told ABC 6 news.

And whether you're a newcomer or a lifelong resident, everyone wins when a community is welcoming.

"It really allows you to jump in, participate, volunteer, make your community stronger, so the better we relate to our neighbors the better off we'll be as a community,” Craig Clark said.


Dan Conradt

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