Today, the San Gabriel City Council launched the City’s first-ever HEAR Commission at a press conference at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse. The HEAR Commission will advance and advocate for equity, access, diversity, social justice, safety, mutual appreciation, increased cultural competency, positive inter-group relations and respect for all members of the San Gabriel community.
“This HEAR Commission is part of this City Council’s sincere commitment to be a public servant to all,” said Mayor Denise Menchaca. “We truly believe that creating an environment of racial and social justice will provide equal opportunity in this City. We are proud that San Gabriel has taken the lead in establishing the first commission of this kind in the San Gabriel Valley.”
The HEAR Commission will serve as an advisory body to the City Council and will review City policies, laws, practices and procedures to address inequity, inequality and injustice in San Gabriel. To carry out its duties, the commission will have access to City data, information and materials to asses and recommend policy changes to advance equity and access for everyone in the community.
“I firmly believe that the common goals that unite us are far greater than the differences that divide us,” said Councilmember Jason Pu. “Establishing the HEAR Commission is a big step in pushing towards equity, understanding and healing and against fear and division.”
The commission will have seven members appointed by the majority of the City Council in staggered, two-year terms. Appointments will be made to represent a diverse membership in several areas, including economic status, education, race, ancestry, religion, age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, geography and immigration status. Once appointed, members of the HEAR Commission will meet on a monthly basis.
The HEAR Commission was developed after extensive community outreach by an ad hoc subcommittee of the City Council led by Mayor Denise Menchaca and Councilmember Jason Pu. The subcommittee began its work after the City Council adopted Resolution No. 20-31 committing the City to an ongoing process to review City policies and practices and to ensure the fair, even and equal administration of its laws. Adoption of Resolution No. 20-31 was sparked by the murder of George Floyd and the civil unrest that followed. The creation of the HEAR Commission is the City of San Gabriel’s first step to fulfill the promise of Resolution No. 20-31 and to ensure equity, access, diversity and safety for all members of the San Gabriel community.