CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Some Charleston leaders are hoping a proposal for a permanent racial conciliation commission in the city gets pushed forward. The first reading of the proposal was approved during Tuesday’s city council meeting.
This comes after a similar proposal failed in September.
After months of negotiations, Councilman Dudley Gregorie, who is spearheading the effort, believes he and other city council members have come up with a document that will move forward. The name has been changed from the Special Commission on Equity, Inclusion, and Racial Conciliation to the Human Affairs and Racial Conciliation Commission.
The goal of the group is to take a stand against racism. Some city leaders say it’s needed to repair the ties between the city and the black community.
“We’re gonna be proactive to try and find solutions on how we may be able to take care of some of the vestiges of Jim Crow and slavery in the City of Charleston,” said Councilman Gregorie.
Members of the commission would take a look at the city’s diversity, inclusivity, and racial equity and make recommendations for positive change.
“In order for us to really deal with some of the issues that not just plague our city but plague many cities across the country, we have to face up to the fact that there are issues centered around racism in all cities and Charleston is no exception,” said Gregorie.
He says by making the commission permanent, Charleston would become a leader for many other cities across the nation.
Mayor John Tecklenburg says given the city’s history, a commission would be a good step forward.
“It’s a continuing effort in our city, particularly with the history we have here in Charleston, to be as fair and respectful as we can,” said the Mayor.
The next two readings will be at council meetings in the new year.