It’s a tough one. Admittedly, it’s a tough one. Does diversity on a city council matter? Should it matter? Where do we draw the line between doing the right thing and doing the wrong thing and maybe doing the right thing for the wrong reasons?
I know, I know, “diversity” is a loaded term these days. For some people, it is a cringe-inducing red flag of political correctness.
But for others it means political and economic access that allegedly is the hallmark of this country. And when a city council — one of the most accessible forms of government — is lacking ethnic, geographic and economic diversity, well, some questions should be asked. Because sometimes political correctness is better than being incorrect.
So, the Vancouver City Council is pondering a proposal to establish a Community Task Force on Council Membership. Which also could be called the Community Task Force for Passing the Buck. Or the Community Task Force Created Because We Have No Idea What to Do. In other words, there are no easy answers.
Vancouver, after all, was incorporated in 1857. That is 162 years ago, and since then, as far as anybody can tell, one black person has been elected to the city council. In at least the past 20 years, no councilors have come from the north-central part of the city. And in recent years, there has been one councilor who lives east of the Heights area — and he is retiring this year. All of which suggests that maybe the city could benefit from a broader mix of representation.