- Columbia City Manager John Glascock issued the following statement on Wednesday, June 3, regarding the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the demonstrations in the Columbia community.
"As the city manager, it is my responsibility and duty to lead this organization and community. That includes having hard conversations.
I am appalled by the death of George Floyd and the deaths of many other black and brown people around the nation who have been senselessly killed. The many years of violence, mistreatment and inequity that our black and brown neighbors experience is unacceptable. This isn’t about making a political statement, it’s about humanity.
We can all do better. We can all be better neighbors, coworkers, friends and community members. It’s okay to admit when we’ve made mistakes and saying we can do better doesn’t mean we won’t make mistakes along the way. But it means that we need to take a look at our words, our actions, our processes of how we do things to see how they could be improved. Many of the systems that create inequities are rooted in racism, and we need to combat that. Every single person has different lived experiences and we can learn from each other. We need to show compassion and empathy and listen to those around us. We need to educate ourselves about what systemic racism is and how we can break down those systems. We need to speak up when we see injustices. We need to recognize ways that our own processes and policies are problematic and we need to make changes when those are identified. We need to have hard conversations with each other and hold each other accountable. While some folks are just now starting to have these conversations, some have been having them for years.
Our vision is that Columbia is the best place for everyone to live, work, learn and play. We know that not every person has the same opportunities and experiences. As an organization, we haven’t always done our best in the past, but we will do better going forward. If you have suggestions about how we can improve, I want to hear about it. We have suggestion boxes in City facilities or you can submit a form on CoMo.gov
. If you would like to meet with me in person, please feel free to contact me at CMO@CoMo.gov
I want to thank our residents who have been protesting and demonstrating in a way that promotes peace while they are processing their grief and anger. I also want to thank our Columbia Police Department officers for supporting the process of the peaceful protests and ensuring that the protesters and our community members are safe.
Finally, I want to reiterate the Principles of Community that the City Council unanimously adopted in April 2018. Principles of Community is an aspirational statement and pledge that reflects the ideals we seek and embodies the City’s commitment to creating a community that’s inclusive of all residents who have differing perspectives, identities and lived experiences. You can read the Principles of Community here: CoMo.gov/Principles-of-Community