East County residents to discuss lack of diversity on community boards

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SAN DIEGO — Residents of east San Diego County will hold a town hall discussion at 6 p.m. Wednesday to discuss a lack of diversity among the members of various decision-making boards and commissions.

An August study by the Center on Policy Initiatives and the diversity- promoting organization San Diego Leaders found that members of decision-making bodies in San Diego County are disproportionately white, male and economically secure. In the Escondido Union High School District, for example, people of color comprise 73 percent of the student population but the five members of the District School Board are white and three are men.

“When decision-makers don’t look like us or understand our struggles, they cannot make the best decisions on our behalf,” said Paola Martinez- Montes, director of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment. “It’s time to evolve our systems to give more people from historically underrepresented communities a seat at the table.”

The town hall will be at the Lemon Grove Community Center. The event is free to the public and will include a panel of local leaders such as Lemon Grove’s Nadia Contreras and Monica Montgomery, a candidate for the San Diego City Council.

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