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West Palm Beach mayor gives update on racial and equality task force

Task force will focus on criminal justice, education, finance, and more
West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James holds a news conference on April 21, 2021.jpg
Posted at 9:07 AM, Apr 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-21 17:41:31-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Less than 24 hours after a guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder trial, West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James on Wednesday gave an update on the city's Task Force for Racial and Ethnic Equality.

WATCH NEWS CONFERENCE:

West Palm Beach mayor gives update on racial and equality task force

James announced the task force in July, just two months after the death of George Floyd, as many protests about policing and racial equality happened around the country and in West Palm Beach.

The task force is made up of 25 business and city leaders, and its purpose is address issues and come up with solutions pertaining to race and equity in the city.

"The task force is consistent with my vision of working to make West Palm Beach a community of opportunity for all," James said. "I am excited about the direction in which our city is headed."

The mission is broken up into five subcommittees: education and workforce, criminal justice, finance, banking, and business, health, and real estate and housing.

Daniel Eisinger, the co-chair of the criminal justice subcommittee, said a more diverse police force and a community review board are some of the group's top priorities.

"We're looking to see how we can amp it up, how we can make it better, more comprehensive, to make sure that the officers truly are listening and caring," Eisinger said.

The task force, made up of leaders from the African-American and Hispanic communities, law enforcement, State Attorney's Office, Public Defender's Office, and more, has three goals:

  • Examine the history of racial and ethnic inequities in West Palm Beach
  • Look at best practices to address systemic patterns of racial and ethnic disparities
  • Adopt policy changes to improve racial equality

"We welcome and seek input from our community. We hope to have educators, school staff, parents, employers, employees, residents, and community leaders are out meetings and present their experiences and perspectives," said Alexandria Ayala, a Palm Beach County School Board member. "It will be our collective efforts that will lead to greater racial and ethnic equality in our school system and workforce."

Planning is underway for a Community Action Summit that will be held on June 12.

James said the summit is an opportunity for residents to come together and voice their issues and concerns, and decide the next steps for the task force.

You can learn more about the task force by clicking here.