Diversity + Inclusion | Lost Coast Outpost | Humboldt County

Eurekan asks Nicholas Kohl, Renee Contreras De Loach

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Diversity + Inclusion

We need a City Council that represents our diverse population. What diversity do you bring to the Council, and what will you do to bring diverse voices to the planning conversations?

— Eurekan

Responses

Nicholas Kohl

I hope to bring a diversity of experience. With my background in restaurant service, I have learned the importance of inclusion. Diversity of gender, race, experience and identity bring a more complete understanding of needs and potential solutions. I acknowledge that I have the benefits of being a CIS male in our world. But, this is not the limit of my view. Through conversation and intentional listening I hope to be able to bring more then my own perspective when considering planning or policy in our community.

Renee Contreras De Loach

I believe that every voice matters and that everyone deserves a seat at the table. 

My father’s family is Latino and Yaqui Indian and immigrated from Mexico. My mother’s family are part Cherokee from Tahlequah, OK and Irish. My still-living grandmother attended segregated schools in Arizona. My family made their way to California in the 50’s with the hope of building a better life for themselves and their children.  California was a hopeful place that had desegregated their schools, had abundant jobs and the potential of starting businesses and owning homes in outer areas where redlining didn’t apply. 

No one should ever be prevented from living a whole and complete life, pursuing an education, a career, housing or relationships because of of their race, ethnicity, gender, disability or identity. I have precious members of my family who are part of the LGBTQ+ community and they deserve to live fully equal life free from fear, recrimination and harassment.  We truly are better as individuals and as a community and country when we respect and value the lived experiences and identity of others.

There will always be those who harbor in some corner of their heart a fear or resentment of those they do not understand or agree with.  Unfortunately, biases can and have permeated our historic structural frameworks as they reflect the people who created them.  Discriminatory systems were designed to offer opportunities to some while actively preventing others from enjoying the same. Often marginalized groups have clear requests and it is up to elected leaders to not only listen (which is the bare minimum) but to make changes. I am committed to listening, encouraging, and taking action where needed to support diversity, equity and inclusion.