The Montgomery County Council unanimously passed a wide-ranging racial equity bill on Tuesday — a cornerstone policy for Council President Nancy Navarro, who spent more than a year crafting the legislation.
The bill will establish a countywide racial equity program by mandating equity impact statements for all new bills and budget measures. It will also require county offices to submit plans for reducing inequality and create a new Office of Racial Equity and Social Justice within the executive branch.
The bill mandates racial equity training for all county employees, and establishes an advisory committee with seven county representatives and eight public members.
Each of the eight public members will receive a $2,000 annual stipend for volunteering — an amendment added Thursday at the request of more than a dozen residents and local advocacy groups.
The county has public members on more than two dozen additional boards and commissions, many of which specifically direct that members should not receive compensation. Council Member Craig Rice said he plans to pursue legislation to require funding for all public committee members, leveling the field for other volunteers.