'Putting history on the books': Pflugerville takes next steps in establishing equity commission

The intention of the commission and what it represents, Mayor Pro Tem Omar Peña said, is to serve as a living document reflective of the fabric and framework that encompasses the Pflugerville community. (Courtesy Pflugerville Parks and Recreation)
The intention of the commission and what it represents, Mayor Pro Tem Omar Peña said, is to serve as a living document reflective of the fabric and framework that encompasses the Pflugerville community. (Courtesy Pflugerville Parks and Recreation)

The intention of the commission and what it represents, Mayor Pro Tem Omar Peña said, is to serve as a living document reflective of the fabric and framework that encompasses the Pflugerville community. (Courtesy Pflugerville Parks and Recreation)

Following a year's worth of discussions, the city of Pflugerville has taken the next steps in formalizing the Pflugerville Equity Commission. A draft of the ordinance was presented at Pflugerville City Council's June 9 meeting, with council set to vote on formally establishing the commission June 23.

Per the language of the ordinance, “the City of Pflugerville acknowledges that the history of discrimination in the United States of America continues to affect the privilege and/or lack of opportunity for people in the City."

Equity, as defined in the ordinance, pertains to the economic, political or social access granted to all residents, regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, disability or other forms of identity.

Mayor Victor Gonzales, Mayor Pro Tem Omar Peña and Council Member Rudy Metayer edited the document and presented it to council for input. The ordinance drafted came after year-long conversations with community members from diverse backgrounds on what residents hoped to see come forth through the initiative.

The commission, Peña said, is not reactive to current conversations surrounding racism and race relations within the United States. But it is a testament, Metayer added, to the proactive measures the city has taken in prioritizing its community members.


“This was being discussed a year ago. We had this thought and this mindset a year ago," Metayer said. "This was a proactive approach[....]not only are various voices heard, but have a seat at the table to be able to address things.”

Per the ordinance, the Pflugerville Equity Commission will comprise seven members who each serve 2-year terms. The duties of the commission, documents outline, is to create "focused recommendations specific to Pflugerville related to equity and empowerment issues."

The commission's mission, as written, is to promote equity for all residents and to serve as a reflection of the diversity among Pflugerville's residents. The commission will work toward bolstering equity and diversity initiatives through awareness efforts, programs and activities available to community members.

City documents revealed that Pflugerville is a majority-minority city, meaning no racial or ethnic group comprises the majority of the city's population. Women make up 52% of residents in Pflugerville, and 8.6% of the population are age 65 or older. There are 4,125 veterans living in Pflugerville, as well as 322 veteran-owned businesses, per documents.

The intention of the commission and what it represents, Peña said, is to serve as a living document reflective of the fabric and framework that encompasses the Pflugerville community. As Pflugerville's community continually grows and evolves, so, too, Peña said, will the work of this commission. But its mission, he added, will remain the same.

“And with that action," Gonzales said, "I think we are putting history on the books for Pflugerville.”
By Kelsey Thompson
Kelsey Thompson is the reporter for Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto, where her work focuses on education, city government and community development. Originally from Upstate New York, Kelsey relocated to Austin after graduating from Syracuse University in May 2019.


MOST RECENT

Williamson County added 54 confirmed cases of the coronavirus Sept. 18. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Williamson County adds 54 confirmed cases of coronavirus Sept. 18

As of Sept. 18, eight patients are hospitalized, four are in intensive care units and seven are on a ventilator.

Pflugerville's testing location is operated from 8 a.m.-noon Monday through Saturday where a maximum of 300 people can be tested each day at the site. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Coronavirus testing site in Pflugerville to move and more Central Texas news

Read the latest Central Texas business and community news.

Round Rock ISD families can now monitor the number of confirmed positive coronavirus cases by campus. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Round Rock ISD launches COVID-19 dashboard

Round Rock ISD families can now monitor the number of confirmed coronavirus cases by campus.

Central Health administrative building in Austin
Central Health finalizes budget with increased tax rate, more health care services for low-income residents

Local health care district Central Health is budgeting a nearly $20 million increase in health care delivery services for Austin’s low-income residents.

"This season is a big, black box, and there are a lot of unknowns, as far as what the season's going to look like," said Dr. Bradley Berg, a BSW pediatrics doctor in Round Rock. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Baylor Scott & White Health to host 9 Austin-area drive-thru flu shot clinics

"This season is a big, black box, and there are a lot of unknowns, as far as what the season's going to look like," said Dr. Bradley Berg, a BSW pediatrics doctor in Round Rock.

Chief Academic and Innovation Officer Brandy Baker said the act of maintaining two separate learning environments could lead to a one-two punch of teachers burning out and students not receiving the quality of education they need. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Pflugerville ISD outlines struggles of balancing in-person, virtual curricula

Based on current struggles teachers are facing, Chief Academic and Innovation Officer Brandy Baker said she will distribute a survey to teachers the week of Sept. 20 to determine struggles, impact and needs regarding simultaneous on-campus and virtual instruction.

Over 11,000 students returned to RRISD campuses this week as in-person learning resumed Sept. 15. (Community Impact staff)
'I’ve cried almost every day': Inside Round Rock ISD's return to in-person learning

Over 11,000 students returned to RRISD campuses this week as in-person learning resumed Sept. 15.

Dr. Sam Rolon is a physician for Baylor St. Luke's Medical Group Creekside Family Medicine in The Woodlands. (Courtesy St. Luke's Health)
Q&A: St. Luke's physician shares advice on flu season, vaccine and prevention

The influenza vaccine is recommended for nearly all patients of all ages ahead of this year's flu season, Dr. Sam Rolon said.

student in mask
TEA launches statewide COVID-19 dashboard for public schools

The Texas Education Agency, in collaboration with the Texas Department of State Health Services, has launched its latest COVID-19 dashboard for positive cases in Texas public schools.

Williamson County added 35 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus and two new deaths Sept. 17. (Community Impact staff)
Williamson County adds 35 confirmed cases, 2 deaths to coronavirus count Sept. 17

Of the total cases reported, 8,187 are estimated to have recovered.

Austin City Limits Music Festival will present a free virtual broadcast from Oct. 9-11. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Free virtual broadcast of ACL Music Festival to be held Oct. 9-11 and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Austin area.

Pflugerville's testing location is operated from 8 a.m.-noon Monday through Saturday where a maximum of 300 people can be tested each day at the site. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Pflugerville to relocate COVID-19 testing site

Pflugerville's testing location is operated from 8 a.m.-noon Monday through Saturday where a maximum of 300 people can be tested each day at the site.