The demands listed were to “acknowledge city’s role in maintaining white supremacy,” unspecified reparations, decriminalize marijuana and “defund police and invest in supporting people.”
“The city of Cedar Falls is ready to celebrate Juneteenth, but we think they got some work to do first,” the post read.
During public comment, four people reiterated those demands, including Andrea Geary, who told the council it was “disturbing to see the level of entitlement an all-white team felt in co-opting the celebration of Black freedom, when as an institution it has done little to advance equality.”
“Should the city choose to partake in celebrating the true freedom of Black Americans, they first need to do the hard work of dismantling the systems of white supremacy which prevent real equality,” Geary said, saying otherwise the proclamation was “empty” and “performative.”
Green said he understood the city had “tons of work to do,” but thought the recently formed Racial Equity Task Force will help.
“I realize there’s anger, a sense that we’re not doing enough, but I just wanted to let you know we are committed to change,” Green said.
The discussion came the same night the resignation of Willie Barney, chairman of the Cedar Falls Human Rights Commission since February, was accepted by the council. He also serves on the Racial Equity Task Force.
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