BOCS Meeting Recap: Promoting Civil Rights, Responding to COVID-19

BOCS Meeting Recap: Promoting Civil Rights, Responding to COVID-19

Once again, the Board Chambers were a space for lively debate and heartfelt community input this past Tuesday, with Public Comment spanning several hours. Thank you to everybody who took the time to engage with my colleagues and me. While you can view the meeting online, I wanted to highlight some of the distinct actions and accomplishments that came from this meeting: 

Healing & Diversity 

  • Introduced a resolution by Supervisor Boddye condemning police brutality and discrimination, as well as destruction or theft of property, while also commending and supporting the Prince William County Police Department in its efforts to foster community trust and diversify its workforce
  • Discussed how to promote healing in our community as the nation is rocked by the repercussions of racial injustice and inequalities that have too long plagued the Black and Brown people of America
  • Ensured that the County’s human rights ordinance will be amended to include sexual orientation and gender identity based on the bill that Supervisor Boddye worked with Delegate Danica Roem to get passed at the state level 
  • Highlighted the effects of discrimination and erasure of the transgender community, with Supervisor Boddye honoring the dozens of Americans killed due to their gender identities in 2019
  • Directed County staff to prepare a Pride Month proclamation for the June 16 Board meeting
  • Authorized creation of a Cultural Diversity Commission to facilitate cross-cultural dialogue among community members and County leadership, allowing us to take a more proactive stance in promoting racial equity and unity 

COVID-19 Response

  • Funded significant Coronavirus Relief, appropriating and budgeting $25M in CARES Act monies for COVID-19 Testing and Logistical Support, Small Business Economic Recovery, Food Supplies for the Community Feeding Task Force, Community Partner Grants, and the County COVID-19 Emergency Relief Response. 
  • Moved to urge the state to provide Prince William with the additional $41M in CARES Act funds for which we are eligible, voting to sign on to a joint letter crafted by Supervisor Boddye and School Board Member Lorree Williams
  • Appropriated $10,000 COVID-19 Responder Support Donation from the Williams Energy Company to support our first responders 
  • Advocated for the County allocating a portion of CARES funding to the school division, culminating in a proposed joint meeting between the Board of County Supervisors and School Board

General Governance 

  • Maintained the composition of the Jail Board, rejecting a resolution that would have  increased partisanship and decreased leadership continuity by substituting a member of the Board of County Supervisors (a four-year elected term) for the County Executive (a long-term staff position), instead, adding Human Rights Commission Executive Director Raul Torres as the CXO’s alternate, reflecting my  belief that his involvement will provide a valuable perspective to the administration of the Adult Detention Center 
  • Prepared for next steps of 2021-2024 Strategic Plan process, with plans announced for a resident survey to start next week, followed by virtual town halls to incorporate public input on a shared vision for the future of Prince William 
  • Moved to hold a formal presentation on FOIA law in regards to public meetings, to remain fully transparent and educate members of the board on our abilities and limitations to engage with the public in a time that calls for active listening and participation in public forums more than ever
  • Made a directive to have County Staff to begin looking into setting up a C-PACE program which will allow businesses, non-profits, and faith institutions to seek funding to refurbish and invest in improvements to their buildings to make them more energy efficient and reduce their carbon footprints