A statement from Mayor Leng:
"The kick-off meeting of the Hamden Equity & Inclusivity Task Force was rescheduled after initially being mentioned as a meeting to be held earlier tonight, primarily because several of the stakeholders who will be active members of the panel were not available to meet this evening. Unfortunately, the rescheduling was not released publicly, only internally, and that was my fault. Please accept my sincere apologies for dropping the ball.
I considered rushing over to the location myself to be a listener, but the true intention of launching this priority initiative is to have the major institutions, organizations and educators we have engaged, who have graciously agreed to be active participants and have something special to bring to the table, work collaboratively on these important matters with the entire community. If most of the Task Force is not at the meeting, and it wasn’t posted for all the public to know, we just couldn’t hold the first Task Force Meeting tonight in a meaningful way. I take responsibility for the mistake and I apologize to anyone inconvenienced.
I do want to give you an update of the very meaningful discussions and work that has been occurring since before the effort was even announced. I hope this demonstrates the effort we’re taking, the opportunity we have to work together, and how many individuals are committed to doing so.
Specifically, I’ve been actively engaged in organizing and participating in meetings and conversations with Quinnipiac University leaders and educators, members of Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut (CONECT), the Chair of Racial & Ethnic Disparities Committee, the President and Education Committee Chair of the Greater New Haven Chapter of the NAACP, the founder of the Born Rich Foundation, Hamden Elected and Appointed Officials, an Education Specialist from the Capital Region Education Council (CREC), local and regional Educators, Hamden Commission Members and much more. I specifically mention this extensive list because this work is a top Hamden priority and I don’t want anyone to think that this effort is being taken lightly because of today’s mistake.
As a result of the work and dialogue over the last week, we have developed a more comprehensive process and schedule, which will include series of facilitated meetings, training sessions, professional development efforts, community listening gatherings, community conversations, working committees and more. I am confident that this will ultimately lead to more meaningful results, and I am thankful for the input and time that has been graciously given by many and the ideas that have been shared thus far.
The dates and locations for the first 1-2 months of the Task Force’s efforts is being finalized for publication very shortly, with the goals of maximum public participation. Expect to see this schedule within days.
I would like to again apologize for the mistake, take ownership of it, and invite everyone to attend the first official Hamden Equity & Inclusivity Task Force Meeting on Tuesday, February 18th at 7:00 pm. The location of this meeting will be announced tomorrow (02/14/20). I very much look forward to engaging with you all at the next meeting, and I promise you will be pleased with the dialogue we will share, and the results we will attain, together as One Hamden."