Spartanburg City Council approves Racial Equity Resolution

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – The Spartanburg City Council approved a resolution for racial equity in their meeting Monday night. That meeting was held at the T.K. Gregg Community Center on Howard Street at 5:30 p.m.

The resolution passed unanimously.

7 News spoke with a council member who’s been working on the resolution for months.

“Healing, reconciliation, and unity,” Spartanburg District 1 Councilwoman Meghan Smith said.

That’s the title of the resolution that Spartanburg City Council members voted on on Monday night.

One council member says it’s the pathway to a more equitable Spartanburg.

“You don’t have to look far to see that we’re in a very divisive point,” Smith said.

Councilwoman Meghan Smith started working on the resolution back in June after George Floyd’s death.

“While, almost every week, we have a different incident in which you could attach this to, this language, I believe, is more wholistic, rather than pointing at any one specific event,” she said.

Smith told 7 News the resolution addresses the city’s role in explicitly or implicitly perpetuating systemic racism.

“For the last several months, we, as a council, have been listening to people from communities of color who have come and shared with us their pain over this moment that we’re living in and, also, the history of different communities here in Spartanburg,” she said.

Smith said some of the city’s past policies have had inequitable outcomes.

“When the party who has done the wrong can recognize that and apologize for that, then you can begin to have a conversation about how to move forward,” she said. “This is a moment for us to pause and to take stock of what the impact of what those previous policies have been, and to say that we’re sorry.”

Smith said, with the resolution passing, she’s hopeful it will bring about change.

“We hope that recognizing that, expressing remorse for that, acknowledging that will be a step to help rebuild some trust in those communities and reconfirm our commitment to all of the residents in Spartanburg that we are a city council that values you and that wants to use a racial equity lens as we make decisions moving forward,” she said.

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