Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable
For Immediate Release
September 26, 2020
Los Angeles Civil Rights and Labor Organization Leaders Charge Systemic Racial Discrimination in the City Planning Department
Cite the Firing of a Black Planning Employee
Call for a Mayor’s Citizen Task Force to Overhaul Employment Practices in the Department
The L.A. Planning Department has long been under fire for a long, sustained, and systemic pattern and practice of racial discrimination. The department has repeatedly been cited by civil rights and labor organization leaders for engaging in systematic discrimination in hiring, promotions, and dubious termination of Black planners.
The most recent example is the termination of Manyuan Saidia Reffell. Despite her sterling academic qualifications, extensive work experience, and collegial working relationships within the department she was terminated in gross violation of department and civil service procedures. ” The city planning department has a long history of discrimination in hiring and African Americans” says Rev. Jonathan Moseley, Western Regional Director of the National Action Network Los Angeles, ” Mayor Garcetti must take action now to end the systematic racism that has characterized the department”
The Coalition including the Los Angeles Public Policy Round Table, the Crenshaw Subway Coalition, the National Action Network and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and others demand that the Planning Director, Vince Bertoni, be fired, that Ms.Manyuan Saidia Reffell be reinstated and that the Mayor’s recently formed Racial Equity Task Force add citizens’ to review the personnel practices of the department in order to overhaul the department’s hiring and promotion policies. If Mayor Garcetti fails to act, the leaders will launch a public and social media protest campaign to end the Planning Department’s systemic racial policies toward African-American employees.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson, Los Angeles Public Policy Round Table
Damien Goodmon, Crenshaw Subway Coalition
Rev. Jonathan Moseley, National Action Network
Rev. William Smart, Southern Christian Leadership Conference
Rev. Oliver Buie, Angelus Presbyterian Church
Sikivu Hutchinson, Woman’s Leadership Project
Debbie Washington, LA/National Council of Negro Women