As I write this, Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin stands trial for the death of George Floyd. At the same time, the community is reeling after the death of a 20-year-old African American man named Daunte Wright, who was shot by police during a traffic stop in Minneapolis on Sunday.
Last year, when people across the country took to the streets to protest systemic racism that led to the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless others, the East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD), like many other organizations, drafted a Board resolution and issued a statement of solidarity.
Among other things, the EBRPD declared that it has "an obligation to condemn racism and uphold the Constitution of the United States" (a bit of a contradiction, as some point out, given the blatantly racist ideas historically intertwined in the U.S. Constitution). Nonetheless, the EBRPD's resolution pledged to discuss and implement a "plan to address systemic racial injustice within the Park District organization and in its parks."
And now, the District's employees are holding it accountable.
Deonta Allen, who works for the EBRPD, is a part of the Juneteenth Committee, itself an extension of the organization's Diversity Committee. The group has amassed over 1,200 signatures on a Change.org petition urging the EBRPD to acknowledge Juneteenth, which falls each year on June 19, as an official holiday for its staff.