Bellevue has joined a growing number of cities across the nation to build inclusive communities through efforts aimed at increasing citizen participation and engagement, while promoting equal opportunity and fairness.
The Partnership for Working Toward Inclusive Communities, an effort led by the National League of Cities (NLC), unites city leaders who are working to support such issues as racial justice and inclusive zoning as well as those who celebrate the diversity of race, religions and cultures in order to build communities that are accepting and representative of the differences among their citizens. Increased involvement by a wider representation of citizens in governmental activities will also be a hallmark of these inclusive communities.
“By joining this partnership, Bellevue is not only reaffirming its dedication to its citizens locally, but its commitment to building a nation of inclusion,” said NLC President James C. Hunt, a councilmember from Clarksburg, W. Va.. “Through this partnership we hope to bring together the collective will of cities in order to build strong, viable communities across the nation.”
As part of its commitment, the Bellevue City Council has passed a resolution reaffirming its pledge to promote inclusion. The city will also display a sign that serves as an indicator and daily reminder to its citizens that the city is working to build inclusive communities.
Bellevue Councilmember Conrad Lee sees the NLC Inclusionary Communities Program “as a way to engage all of the citizens of Bellevue in helping the city continue being one the best places to work, live, play and operate a business. With all segments of the community involved in local schools, politics, neighborhood and other activities, Bellevue will maintain its high quality of life.”
Members of the partnership will:
- Raise awareness and focus attention on the importance and value of inclusive communities;
- Motivate other cities and towns to make a public commitment to building inclusive communities;
- Provide support to local officials in focused efforts around affordable housing, race and ethnic relations, and equal citizen participation in community decision-making;
- Share valuable insights, experiences, and lessons learned among participating cities and towns; and
- Recognize, publicize, and celebrate the work of cities and towns that have joined the partnership.
Hunt added, “I ask each city official to change your vocabulary from ‘us’ and ‘them’ to ‘we.’ When we join together to solve this problem, we bring together the collective will of the greatest country that has ever existed. We bring together the rich and the poor, the young and the old, the educated and the uneducated.”
To learn more about the Partnership for Working Toward Inclusive Communities go to the National League of Cities website.
The National League of Cities is the nation's oldest and largest organization devoted to strengthening and promoting cities as centers of opportunity, leadership and governance. NLC is a resource and advocate for 18,000 U.S. cities, towns and villages, which collectively serve 225 million people.
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