FRIDAY, JULY 10
Hello. I’m Mayor Susan Seaman. As I’ve shared with you in my previous communications, the City of Eureka is continuing to work tirelessly to support the health and well-being of our citizens, our community, and our economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the past two weeks, we have started seeing the number of cases of COVID 19 grow daily. This has been very discouraging. This is happening as more businesses are re-opening and visitors are starting to come to town. This is undoubtedly the next test of our commitment to keep ourselves, our friends and family safe. Summer days are crying out to gather for barbecues, camping fun and even bigger celebrations like weddings and family reunions. Sheltering in place is certainly easier when it’s cold and dreary outside, but as our numbers indicate – not much has changed about our situation except the way we’ve become used to it. Complacency for practicing social distancing and sheltering in place in the face of COVID-19 is a risk too many people are taking, as witnessed in some parts of our country.
Purposely not wearing masks in public is downright selfish and dangerous – both in terms of spreading the virus, and in creating tension and fear among people in the vicinity. I’ve often heard those who don’t wear masks say that they are pro-business. It simply isn’t true. Wearing a mask is the best way to assure we don’t have to shutter everything again and start all over. Pro-business is pro mask.
And, thank you to those business owners and employees who are out there every day working to provide important services in our community. It’s because of you that we are able to have a bit of normalcy right now. Having talked with folks who work with the public, it’s possible you have been experiencing a heightened level of antagonism and frustration by customers who are stressed and are having difficulty adjusting to necessary changes most businesses are making. Too often, people have been seen taking that frustration out on those who work with customers.
College of the Redwoods has responded to this challenge by creating a series of free “De-Escalation and Assertiveness Training” classes. These sessions will provide tools to address these situations for retail, hospitality, grocery, government and childcare professionals. You can find more information about the classes at redwoods.edu under “Workforce and Community Education.” Thank you to CR and others who have been involved in making this program available.
I also want to talk a bit about a special workshop we held prior to our City Council meeting last week. The City of Eureka has been preparing to initiate a Diversity and Inclusion plan for a couple years. At the special meeting, there was clear direction to staff that the program should begin immediately. Throughout the year, we will be working with skilled consultants who will help us explore opportunities to identify and address systematic racism throughout the City. This comprehensive program will allow us to identify ways to improve our hiring practices, recognize how equity plays a role in neighborhood improvement projects, find ways to address equity in our economic development plan, and find ways to celebrate the diverse people who live in our City. There will be meetings throughout the year that engage staff and the community.
The police department is certainly one area that has received a lot of attention and will be examined in this process. The Council will be discussing a stronger tCommunity Advisory Board for Eureka Police Department, as well as a program that will dispatch behavioral health specialists for calls when that is more appropriate. We recognize that we cannot focus on EPD alone if we really want to address social equity. We also need to look at some of the other subtle and often unconscious decisions that are made during the regular business of governing. We hope to have robust community engagement in this process. We welcome and encourage your participation.
Finally, as always, and in addition to our video updates and social media posts, you can find regular updates about COVID 19 at the City of Eureka’s website, which is ci.eureka.ca.gov, as well as links to other important community resources.
Again, I’m Mayor Susan Seaman, and I appreciate your attention to this message. Be safe, stay healthy, be patient with yourself and kind to your neighbors and family. We’ll talk again