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City of Stevens Point News

Posted on: November 20, 2020

Stevens Point Forms Team To Address Diversity, Social Justice, & Other Issues

Mayor Mike Wiza has formed a team to help address some of the most pressing issues facing Stevens Point. The group will be charged with identifying strengths & weaknesses with regard to a spectrum of social issues from housing to racism to social equity.

Members of the team represent a cross-section of the community who have been traditionally marginalized or underserved.

“We are really following in the footsteps of many other communities and, most recently, Portage County, [in] getting people together to provide perspectives and insight on relevant issues and challenges that the marginalized segments of society have struggled with,” said Mayor Wiza. “We want to focus on addressing those issues, and the only logical way to do that is to involve those affected in creating systemic solutions.”

Members of the team include:

Eric Riskus: Independent Living Program Director at Midstate Independent Living Choices representing people with disabilities
Tamia Yates: Citizen to represent young females and people of color
Tiffany Krueger: Evergreen Community Initiative serving low income people and homeless
Rayvn Knipple: Former UWSP SGA Vice President to represent various student groups
Officer Chi Yang : Representing the Stevens Point Police Department and the Hmong community
Rio Greendeer: Student to represent indigenous people and our young community members
Idowu Odedosu : Executive Dir. at the Stevens Point Housing Authority representing public housing needs
Morgan Potter: MILC Peer support Mental Health Coordinator to offer perspective on mental health issues

The above list is only the beginning. The City expects to utilize many others as resources as they progress toward solutions. 

“We’ll start with an evaluation of where people think we stand as a community,” continued Wiza. “What sorts of things are we doing well, and where do we need to focus our attention? We will then break those things into key topics and prioritize them. Then we'll begin work on providing solutions. I expect some of those solutions will come before the City Council to act on, but we’ll also likely have things that can be addressed without needing legislation.”

"Stevens Point has been active in pursuing changes that denounce hate, bigotry, racism, misogyny, and intimidation. We strive to provide a safe and welcoming environment for everyone. We have made policy changes in regards to equal housing and benefit rights for domestic partnerships, strengthened policies relating to hostile work environments and whistle blower retaliation, and partnered with UWSP and surrounding communities to bring attention to domestic violence, addiction and mental health issues."

It is expected that the group will meet at least monthly. Meetings of the group will be posted and open to the public. The first meeting is expected to be early December.

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