The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors issued a joint statement at its meeting on Tuesday, June 9, affirming that “Black Lives Matter” and committing to “striving for true equity.” Board Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay also announced the formation of the Chairman’s Task Force on Equity and Opportunity.
“The senseless murder of George Floyd sparked thousands in our county to stand up against persistent racial inequity in our country,” the statement reads. “Mr. Floyd’s violent and wrongful death is sadly all too familiar. We are all grieving for the Floyd family, the families of those who have experienced similar pain, and the many who have died in similar acts of violence. Black Lives Matter.”
The new group will bring together diverse community stakeholders to advance racial equity and promote the change necessary to create a Fairfax County that works for everyone.
The goal is to leverage the insights, experiences, professional networks, and industry and institutional understanding that exist within our community to develop the big ideas and compelling frames that will shape a vision for an equitable future.
With input from the community, the task force will consider questions like:
- What are the systems that have made certain places and populations vulnerable?
- What voices must be lifted to address these issues?
- What actions can be taken to reshape Fairfax County into a place where all can thrive?
“The county has made significant policy and practice changes to support the commitment to One Fairfax, but as chairman I see the current situation as a chance to reflect on our journey – ensuring the community is fully aware of what has been done, and has the opportunity to inform the path forward,” says McKay.
The task force will explore the range of situations and conditions that contribute to disproportionate trends, facilitate shared responsibility and collective action, build on the strengths of the community and lift up solutions to make all residents and neighborhoods more resilient. With a focus on understanding the county’s past and looking toward the future, and using the nine priority areas of the Countywide Strategic Plan as a focus, the task force will advise the chairman in various areas of public policy.
The recommendations of the task force will be presented to the chairman through a preliminary report in December 2020 and final recommendations by the end of June 2021, though short- and long-term strategies may be identified and implemented throughout the process. Regular updates will be provided.