May Sarasota Prosper

I think we’re all a little fired up.

Whether it is because we recognize the need for systemic change to truly become the Land of Opportunity or because we are having ongoing anxiety because everyone around us is fired up…is not for me to say.

What I do want to say is that no matter where you are at, the national discourse is reminding us that we have do learn more and do better.

So what does that have to do with Sarasota?

As cities across the nation protest for a more fair justice system that does not disproportionally impact black communities and a system that equitably distributes funding to empower all communities, the City of Sarasota is appointing someone to the Citizens Police Advisory Panel on Monday, July 6.

The Citizen’s Police Advisory Panel “was established to ensure police accountability and transparency to the community and to foster public confidence and trust in the administration and operation of the Police Department. It has a mandate to advise the City Commission on major policy aspects of policing within the city and other global policy matters”.

Well. That seems pretty relevant right about now.

In my quick google search about this panel, I didn’t find much information beyond the definition and the deadline. However, I did find that our City Manager wanted to move forward with his selections for both the Advisory Panel and Policy Complaint Committee. Understandably, our Mayor was cool with it. But other City Commissioners were like , “Wait. Hold on.”

My paraphrasing of their conversation is brief, and so is my point:

As we look to begin healing and coming together as a nation, I will quote our very own Commissioner Brody in saying, “In this time of political strife it’s shocking that only one person (at the time of this quote) has applied for chair” He continued with “having one application for chair in this kind of board isn’t enough” and “expressed the lack of diversity on the boards and wanted to see that change in order to reflect the community better.” Yes, Hagen. So much yes.

Since that statement, two people have applied to join the Citizen’s Police Advisory Panel: Stan Daughtry (Chair) and Michael Paragon (Member)

I’m not telling you what to do, and I am not endorsing anyone here as I do not know them or know much about them, but if I didn’t look for this information, I wouldn’t have found it. I’m passing it along so you don’t have to.

If you have any thoughts on the open seats for the Police Advisory Council – send them here: Commissioners@SarasotaFl.gov by Monday, July 6.

PS- This is my second PS of the day. My first one said “I also think we should be required to wear masks indoors”. You know, that whole two birds, one stone thing.

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