Questions from Arcata's "Dialogue on Race"

Apr 26, 2018

The City of Arcata hosted a dialogue on race at the D Street Community Center Thursday evening as the city continues to discuss racial issues a year after the stabbing death of HSU student David Josiah Lawson. 

A panel was asked to answer ten questions compiled by Lawson's mother, Charmaine Lawson.  The questions were also included in the session's handout for residents attending the event. 

The questions, as they appeared in the handout:

1) Is there a written code of conduct that volunteers or employees with the City of Arcata have to sign and follow regarding their behavior on and off duty?  Does this address racist language and behavior online and in person? If not, when are you going to correct this?

2) Have the city of Arcata and the CSU system coordinated efforts and protocol for student safety? When will HSU join Arcata in working on race relations and safety?

3) Can HSU and the CSU system have an investigation of APD conduct, lackluster work ethic, and cover ups? Could UPD take over the jurisdiction for issues that directly affect the student population?  (Noting the California Supreme Case California University and Colleges have a duty to protect students from foreseeable violence during extra curricular and curricular activities)

4) We know there is a mutual aid agreement between APD and the University Police Department. How can there be a more effective partnership for student safety at school and the community?

5) What will HSU and the community do to ensure accurate information about racism in the community is given to potential students and their families? How can HSU justify recruiting students of color if they can't guarantee their safety, while refusing to be transparent about the racism and safety issues that they are coming into?

6) Why hasn't HSU weighed in on the McKinley statue? Has Arcata City Council considered the impact on race relations that Mr. Winkler's personal involvement in collecting signatures to overturn the City Council's vote to remove the statue?

7) Why has the Arcata City Council not responded to the letter from the NAACP recommending censure of Michael Winkler for his behaviors that are actively causing harm to Indigenous Peoples and people of color?                                   

8) Have Arcata or HSU considered the dire financial impact on both if people of color and Indigenous Peoples refuse to attend the school or spend money in Arcata?

9) How can these meetings balance asking people to talk about painful and dangerous experiences and giving media free reign on how they use the material? Furthermore, is the City Council considering the safety of people of color and Indigenous Peoples as well as activists when hosting such events?

10) Will HSU be allocating funding to help hire an outside team to assist the city in efforts to support safety for marginalized students? Will HSU help to bring Tom Parker back?