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The original item was published from 7/15/2021 1:42:00 PM to 1/1/2022 12:00:00 AM.

News Flash


Posted on: January 22, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Racism is a Public Health Crisis


At its September 15, 2020 council meeting, the Napa City Council took action against discrimination and racism in the community by adopting a resolution formally recognizing the effects on public health.

In a unanimous vote, the City council adopted the resolution “affirming that discrimination and systemic racism is a public health crisis that results in disparities in family stability, health and mental wellness, education, employment, economic development, public safety, criminal justice experience and housing.”

In addition to taking actions to address concerns regarding use of force in local law enforcement, City Manager Steve Potter has also directed the Acting Human Resources Director to establish and implement a multi-year, mandatory training for all employees that will cover the topics of Implicit Bias, Cultural Awareness & Celebrating Diversity, Racial Justice & Equality, Age & Ability, LGBTQ+, Gender Identity & Equality.

“This list is not all-inclusive and additional topics may be added,” said Potter said at the time. “We want to ensure that we are educating our City workforce in all areas necessary so that we can make our government as accessible, equitable and inclusive for all members of the Napa community as possible.”

Here is an update on the work that has commenced since the resolution was adopted, as well as the work planned for the near future. 

LGBTQ Connection – Best Practices Workshop

In partnership with one of our own local non-profit organizations, LGBTQ Connection, we offered two sessions of the “LGBTQ Best Practices” virtual training for City Councilmembers, Department Heads, and other staff. We plan on incorporating more of these types of workshops as part of the City’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Training Program in 2021. The workshop outcomes included: 

  • Have a better understanding of LGBTQ identities.
  • Have more compassion for LGBTQ people & their experiences.
  • Be more aware of specific issues that affect the mental health of LGBTQ youth & LGBTQ seniors.
  • Be more confident in their ability to support LGBTQ people.
  • Gain knowledge of resource and referral information for LGBTQ people.
  • Be able to identify specific mental health resources accessible for LGBTQ people.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Training Program

In order to better equip our staff and increase awareness, the City is preparing to launch a multi-year, multi-phase Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Training Program in Q1/Q2 of this year. This training will be mandatory for all employees and will encompass various training modules and topics. We look to partner with local organizations to advise us on successful elements of the program, including:

                -  Implicit Bias

                -  Cultural Awareness & Celebrating Diversity

                -  Racial Justice & Equality

                -  LGBTQ+, Gender Identity & Equality

                -  Age & Ability

The City of Napa Launches the Equity Initiative 

City of Napa is seeking to address this public health crisis through a grassroots initiative – the Equity Initiative – that works hand in hand with community members to tackle the root causes of social injustice in our community. Solutions that stem from this initiative will be yielded through deep collaboration with community stakeholders and meaningful community engagement.   

Thanks to our partnership with the National League of Cities through their Cities of Opportunity Initiative, the City of Napa has secured initial funding for the Equity Initiative. This funding will be utilized to build out the framework for the Equity Initiative that operationalizes equity in the City of Napa. The following below is a more detailed proposal for this initial funding. 

  • NLC Partnership: The City of Napa participated in the Cities of Opportunity Program, which is supporting the framework development for the Equity Initiative by: 
    1. Providing access and partnership opportunities with local agencies tackling equity concerns. 
    2. Providing funding to lay the groundwork for our local initiative 
    3. Providing mentorship and guidance on executing a meaningful equity plan for our community 
  • Stakeholder Engagement and Partnership: The City of Napa’s leadership has held listening sessions with stakeholder groups to assess equity challenges  
  • Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE): Thanks to funding from the Cities of Opportunity Program, the City of Napa will be joining the Government Alliance on Race and Equity to cement its long-term commitment to achieve racial equity and advancement opportunities for all.  

More Information

The City of Napa is committed to addressing discrimination and systemic racism and the public health crisis that has resulted because of them. For further questions, please reach out to Deputy City Manager Liz Habkirk at [email protected].

You can view the full adopted resolution here. 

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