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Bozeman hosts a launch event for the Equality and Inclusion Plan



Bozeman, Montana – In an effort to include more perspectives in the creation of a plan that encourages fairness and accessibility in the community, the City of Bozeman conducted a kickoff ceremony for its Equity and Inclusion Plan on Tuesday.

There were about 100 people in attendance at the event, which was hosted at the Public Safety Center.

The program served two purposes, according to Dani Hess, the city’s coordinator for community engagement: the first was to describe how residents might participate in the Equality and Inclusion Plan’s planning process. The second is to provide residents a chance to interact with one another and express what they would want to see in the plan.

Following national calls to reduce violence against marginalized populations, she noted, this project was initially established in 2020. The Equity Indicators Project came first, then the Inclusive City Report and Recommendations. These two papers serve as a foundation for the Equality and Inclusion Plan, which also incorporates community input.

“So, this plan really looks at those big issues: housing, transportation, access to a steady income, and education, and looks at how we can build those partnerships and make sure everyone has access to the life that they want to live,” Hess said.

Now, the city is appealing for feedback from the community. They are promoting a program called Community Chats where individuals of the community can talk with their neighbors, coworkers, and other people in their immediate circle about what they want to see in the final plan.

A poll will be distributed to the larger community in June, and the plan will be developed from May to July. Town hall discussions will take place in August.

“We need your help, we need your ideas, we need your thoughts, we need your involvement, participation and we particularly need you to help us identify those that may not be here today. Who are affected by these policies that we will enact, whose voices need to be heard, and they may not be in the room,” said Mayor Cyndy Andrus.

Visit the Engage Bozeman website to find out more about the initiative and how you can participate.

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