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Human Relations Commission

Mayor’s office expects to finalize selections by year end

by Ashlee De Wit

LANSING, Ill. (August 31) – Mayor Patty Eidam and her staff are in the process of putting together a Human Relations Commission, a campaign promise that was accelerated at the recent Community Meeting to address police/community relations. The Community Meeting was part of the Village’s response to a videoed incident involving a white police officer and a black teenager.

The meeting, held on August 16 at TF South, was facilitated by a representative from the United States Department of Justice.

Following that meeting, several members of the community reached out to the Village to inquire about the Human Relations Commission and express interest in being part of it.

Human Relations Commission
Creating a Human Relations Commission was a highlight of the Village Voice Party platform. The topic came up again at the August 16 Community Meeting in response to a video of a white police officer and a black teenager. The meeting was facilitated by a representative from the United States Department of Justice.
“This is something that Mayor Eidam campaigned on,” said Ken Reynolds, Mayor Eidam’s Executive Assistant and Director of Communications for the Village of Lansing. “At this point, it’s in the development stage. We don’t want to slap something together…with no agenda or design.”

The selection process for the Human Relations Commission is going to be thorough—not as rigorous as a job application, but more involved than simply volunteering, Reynolds said. He is hoping that the selection of commission members will be finalized yet this year.

“I wouldn’t commit to a hard date, but our goal is to have the development and selection done by the end of the year, and begin official meetings in early 2018,” he said.

The first step is to check for any ordinances or resolutions that need to be brought to the Village Board of Trustees.

“We want to make sure we introduce this correctly,” Reynolds said. “We are very aware of the importance of this, and we don’t want to make a commission just off of a controversial incident. Human relations is much bigger than any one incident.

“I think the ultimate goal of the commission is to recognize the various needs and concerns of a variety of representative groups that our community is made up of,” Reynolds added. “We want a balanced cross section. The commission should look like what Lansing looks like.”

Ashlee De Wit
Ashlee De Wit
Ashlee De Wit is a freelance writer and a Lansing native. After starting her career covering high school sports in Iowa, she's excited to be back in her hometown, reporting the stories of her local community — such as the opening of Troost, the informal Lansing pickleball club, a TF South Homecoming game, and Common Ground, Lansing's experiment with healthy race relations.