Local government | April 13, 2022
Today, Mississauga City Council received a report from the Black Caucus entitled First Steps: A Community-Driven Report on Making Mississauga More Equitable for Black Communities. It includes recommendations on how the City of Mississauga can further engage Black community members in the decision-making process at City Hall. It also ensures City programs and services are equitable and inclusive to all members of the community.
“I want to thank every single person who took part in this incredibly important process and I’m so proud that we now have a set of solid recommendations, informed and led entirely by Black Community members, that will help guide us on how to build a more inclusive and equitable city,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “And as the title suggests, these are just the ‘First Steps.’ We have a lot of important work ahead of us to ensure that Mississauga’s diverse communities feel included, supported and empowered.”
The recommendations in the First Steps report are based on the feedback, ideas and lived experiences shared by Black community members during six community consultations hosted by Mayor Crombie and Councillors in 2021. More than 900 community members, experts, and City staff participated in the consultations over a six-week period. They are categorized into themes including political engagement and inclusion, health and well-being, economic empowerment and the criminal justice system.
In addition, Council was also provided with a staff report explaining how the City’s business areas would like to action the recommendations outlined in the First Steps report including:
“We continue to listen, to learn and to take action in addressing systemic racism and discrimination in City policies, programs and supports. While some of the recommendations in the First Steps report will take some time; action is already being taken. The City’s Human Resources team just concluded a review through an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) lens of its succession and recruitment processes; the Economic Development team is working to expand programming and promote Black businesses and the procurement team through the Sustainable Procurement Program are working to expand and promote procurements to Black businesses and a wider audience overall,” said Paul Mitcham, City Manager and Chief Administrative Officer.
The First Steps report and recommendations support the ongoing commitment made by the City of Mississauga when Council unanimously passed resolution 207 on June 24, 2020, to address anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism.