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City Of Kennewick Debuts Voluntary Diversity Survey

Anna King
Northwest News Network
Zelma Jackson leads Kennewick's Diversity Commission. The commission has just released a diversity survey to the public that will be online until mid-June. It's in response to inflammatory comments made online by Kennewick councilman Bob Parks.

The city of Kennewick, Washington, had a wakeup call last year. One of its city councilmen made a joke online about Mexican-Americans that upset people in the Tri-Cities.

Councilman Bob Parks criticized Pasco’s large Latino population and insulted the City of Yakima on his Facebook page.

In the wake of those remarks, the city formed the Kennewick Diversity Commission. That commission has just released a diversity survey to the public in hopes of gathering more information about the of people's attitudes on diversity in Kennewick and the larger Tri-Cities community. Their 14-question survey will be run until mid-June.

Zelma Jackson leads commission. She said the survey seeks information like, “What do you think about us as the city. Do you enjoy living here with us? How can we make you feel more comfortable and productive in our city?”

The Diversity Commission will sum up the survey results in a report to be given to city council for action.

Parks’ position is up for election. The deadline to apply to run for city council is May 15.

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.