Altogether Taskforce to Promote Diversity in Valparaiso
The City of Valparaiso has formed a new taskforce to research and promote diversity throughout the community. “We’ve heard from people who find Valparaiso to be extremely welcoming and we’ve heard from those who find our community to be less inviting. Altogether Valpo will listen and learn, seeking ways to make Valpo more open minded and ‘all together,’” said Mayor Jon Costas who is organizing the taskforce. Altogether Valpo will be committed to addressing:
1. Hiring practices
The taskforce will review existing practices, and research best practices to promote a diverse workplace.
2. Affordable housing
This will include defining “affordability” in comparing Valparaiso to other Midwestern cities of similar size, especially other university towns, to determine where additional affordable housing may be needed.
Although less defined, inclusion is an attitude of acceptance the city wants to foster. The taskforce will reach out to determine what inclusion means to a diverse audience and how to enhance an environment of inclusion.
Bruce Berner has been named as chairman of the 13-member Altogether Valpo Taskforce. “Bruce has chaired a number of taskforces within the city and has done a phenomenal job in building consensus and moving causes forward,” said Mayor Jon Costas. Berner is a retired professor of law at Valparaiso University. Remaining members will be chosen based on their expressed interest in promoting diversity and the future of Valparaiso. Altogether Valpo will begin meeting after Labor Day with a kick-off meeting to outline goals. The public is invited to attend. Meeting times and locations will be published in local media.