TEMECULA, Calif. — The Temecula City Council will no longer issue certain “inclusion” proclamations that some council members say exclude some residents and do not represent the city as a whole.
These proclamations include African American History Month, Women’s History Month, Arab American Heritage Month, Asian American and Pacific Hawaiian Islands Month, Pride Month , Latino Hispanic Heritage Month, Greek Food Festival Month, Native American Heritage Month and Jewish Heritage Month, according to a list confirmed by City Clerk Randi Johl at Tuesday’s City Council meeting evening.
After a 3-2 vote — Council Member Jessica Alexander, Mayor Pro Tem James Stewart and Council Member Brenden Kalfus voted yes, and Mayor Zak Schwank and Council Member Curtis Brown voted no — the statements for these inclusion groups will now be decided by the city’s municipal council. Race, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Commission.
“It’s pretty easy for me because it’s about awareness and education, every one of these proclamations,” Brown said before voting against the Council’s action. “And it’s about the struggles that each of these individuals or groups had to go through to get to where they are. It’s about education and awareness; it’s not about support…I think that rely on the REDI commission which represents the city, what is the problem? difference?”
Stewart was of a different opinion when explaining why he supported the action.
“I just want to say the city of Temecula represents everyone,” Stewart said. “And these proclamations of inclusion, all of them, exclude people. And so when we elevate one group over the entire city, we’re basically excluding everyone. So I have a problem with that.”
Stewart said he had no problem with any of the proclamations, he just thought such decisions should be made at the REDI Commission level.
“I think this level is more appropriate for all these proclamations of inclusion than this one,” Stewart said. “Because at this level of government, we represent the entire city and everyone who lives here. And when we take a particular group and elevate them above the rest of us, I think that’s a bad example for a government. The government should not The government should not promote groups above other groups.
Learn more about the Recent decision by the Temecula City Council at The Press-Enterprise or watch the Temecula City Council video below.