By Deb Murphy
The City of Bishop took one more step toward an official value statement last week at a workshop where local residents had the chance to vote on what is, or should be, important to the community.
For three hours last Wednesday afternoon, locals indicated what they wanted included by placing dots on posted displays with specific values. The results will be evaluated and brought back to City Council by planning associate Elaine Kabala, probably at a June meeting.
The process started back in February when Steve Muchovej asked the Council to consider a statement that reflected a community sense of tolerance and respect. At its March 13 meeting, the Council discussed a statement crafted by Muchovej and agreed to put together a draft. The draft wasn’t universally accepted, so the next step was last Wednesday’s workshop to get more input from area residents.
Proponents of the statement stressed the motivation wasn’t political, rather a response to what they felt was an increase in hate speech over the last two years.
Mid-way through the workshop, “diversity,” “acceptance,” “inclusiveness,” and “environment,” were identified as key values.
Under “how the values should be embodied,” the community’s answer was: “community and civic leaders and service officials should actively model” those values.
The practical purpose of a value statement, according to the dots, was a statement that Bishop welcomes everybody, showcasing an open, diversity community; the statement reflected “who we are and who we strive to be.”
The final display invited residents to write their own statement. Muchovej’s original draft, specifically calling out diverse groups, was strongly supported.