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.”