Responses to Wyoming Community in Action
The WCIA survey found that two-thirds of residents acknowledge that incidents of racism, harassment and discrimination have occurred in Wyoming and only one-third of respondents think they have been dealt with appropriately. If you were elected to City Council, what would you do to address that perceived gap.
It is unfortunate that residents feel this way. As a neighbor, I am someone that others can trust to talk to about situations like this and strategize how to work together to resolve it. As a member of City Council, I would implement strategies to help residents identify when they encounter a situation of racism, harassment and discrimination and what to do. I recently worked with the Oxford Lane Library to bring “Bystander Intervention Training” to the Oxford community as a part of my involvement in the Asian, Asian-American Faculty & Staff Association. I believe that opportunities like these can lead to combat incidents of racism, harrassment and discrimination.
In the survey less than 35% of the minorities felt their perspectives were valued in Wyoming. If you were elected to City Council, what would you do to ensure all residents feel their perspectives are valued?
I can honestly say that there are times that I have found myself a part of this group. I often think, should I say anything, and if I do, will it matter? As a proud Filipina-American, I’ve always had to speak up and advocate for myself and my family. I’ve learned that you do need to be brave to share your perspective and be vulnerable. If elected as a member of Wyoming City Council, I would work collaboratively with the other members of City Council to advocate for fellow minority residents. One way to do this is tap a variety of representatives to serve on city committees and commissions. I believe with a wider representation of residents on these various committees and commissions, more people, not just minorities will feel valued and included in our Wyoming Community. Diversity of thought and people can equate to innovation and opportunity.
Only one third of respondents of all backgrounds feel that all residents are treated equally in Wyoming. If elected to City Council what would you do to ensure Wyoming is a community where all residents are respected and treated equally?
This is very important to me. All residents should be treated with respect and treated equally. I believe there are two parts to this answer. One is empowering residents to speak up when inequity is happening. Through effective Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Training for City Council, City of Wyoming employees, Commissions and Committees. This is an opportunity to examine processes, programs and services with the lens of DEI and residents in mind. For example, with the enhancement of our Village Green area, it would be a shame for us to have the space and residents feel like they did not belong in the space. DEI Training can help us expose blind spots and maximize innovation and opportunities. I believe that being treated equally has a strong correlation to the feeling of belonging in the community.
In addition, less than 31% of respondents of all backgrounds felt that they can voice a contrary opinion without fear of negative consequences in our community. If you were elected to City Council, what would you do to ensure safety for differences of opinion?
Difference in opinion is important to have. It is how we as a community are made stronger with that diversity of thought. What’s difficult in today's society is having an amplified voice through social media. In addition, the diversity of thought and communicating those differences does not need to be done through intimidation. If I am elected to City Council, I would ensure that every voice is heard. Sometimes people need validation, other times they need solutions. Bottom line, I respect opinions and I am a good listener. One of the tools that I have used in my daily life is from what I learned by participating in Intergroup Dialogues.
Listen at core level
Affirm the speaker as a human being
Respond authentically (take other seriously)
Add own perspective/perspective of others, and/or
Inquiry - dig deeper by choosing one of the following three approaches
>Interrogating (may not feel friendly)
>Affirming (preferred approach)
Utilizing this strategy has allowed me to have many meaningful conversations with friends and neighbors.
What will be your top focus on City Council and how have your background, experience and skills prepared you to create change in your focus area?
My top focus would be to provide a diverse perspective and lens to the Wyoming City Council table. With that, the work from the Mayor’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force provided solid goals and metrics to enhance Wyoming through many aspects of operations and fiscal responsibility. This is just one example. Did you know that the City of Wyoming does not currently track spending towards Minority Owned Businesses and Women Owned Businesses? This is a missed opportunity to show other communities that we not only say we support diversity, but show we support diversity through fiscal goals and responsibility.
Most recently I served on the City of Wyoming, Mayor’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force. This was a very diverse group of Wyoming residents that worked together to present recommendations to the City Council. Throughout my professional work, I have served on several committees and task forces related to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. On a more personal level, when the Pandemic hit, I knew it was important to help the members of our community who were the most vulnerable. I volunteered with Heartfelt Tidbits to deliver food to refugee families and organized outreach to ensure they had access to resources needed with such an abrupt shutdown.
All of these experiences have provided me an opportunity to hone my skills in leadership, organization, fundraising and community/relationship building.
If you are a new candidate for City Council, what do you think is missing from the current City Council composition to meet the needs of the community?
I believe I exemplify a calm, level headed perspective that will ask questions, contribute to discussions, and find solid solutions to problems. I think it is important to work collaboratively while challenging fellow City Council members to come up with the best decision for the Wyoming Community. I will attack problems, not people. I encourage Wyoming residents to learn more about me as a candidate at www.aprilforwyoming.com and to reach out if you have any questions.