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CCM releases first-ever guidebook to help town and city leaders better respond to racial tension in communities

CCM releases first-ever guidebook to help town and city leaders better respond to racial tension in communities

Source: Kevin Maloney, CCM

For Immediate Release
Kevin Maloney, 203-710-3486
CCM releases first-ever guidebook to help town and city leaders better respond to racial tension in communities
The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) today released CCM’s first-ever checklist guidebook designed to help municipal leaders across the state better respond to racial tension in their community.

The booklet is designed to present Connecticut municipal leaders with guidance recommended by U.S. Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service and the National League of Cities 

Click here for the complete guidebook.

“Connecticut’s towns and cities have a key role to play in the renewed efforts across the nation to promote racial equity,” said Joe DeLong, CCM Executive Director and CEO. “Much attention has been directed toward policies and practices at the national and state levels, and rightly so. But meaningful change is within reach at the local level.”

Local government and school districts typically impact daily life in multiple ways: police and fire protection, education, parks and playgrounds and recreation, zoning, housing code enforcement, trash pick-up, street maintenance, economic/job development and more.

“CCM, dedicated to carrying out its mission of ‘collaborating for the common good’, is uniquely positioned to advance racial equity at the local level by virtue of a long-standing and supportive working relationship with the leaders of Connecticut’s municipalities,” noted DeLong. “CCM has been and will continue to work hard to advance racial equity in towns and cities across Connecticut. 

One of these initiatives have been CCM’s CARES in Action (Communities Advancing Racial Equity) program, which has provided a guided process to support municipal leaders working toward real progress on racial equity in their cities and towns. This has included a series of workshops, roundtables, technical assistance and sharing best practices, all designed to help municipalities implement seven action items that can lead to more equity in their local governments. 

Clcik here to visit the CCM CARES in Action webpage:

The new CCM guidebook released today revolves around two significant checklists for responding to racial tension -- one for Connecticut municipal chief-elected officials and one for Connecticut police officials.

As part of CCM’s CARES in Action initiative, the conference has presented innovative and impactful best practices from experts across the country on a range of key issues. In this instance, CCM is sharing the advice and best practices recommended by the US Department of Justice Community Relations Service and the National League of Cities to respond to heightened racial (or other) tensions in a community. 

This report includes recommendations and checklists drawn directly from two important publications on responding to racial tensions in a community:

  • NLC's Municipal Action Guide: “Responding to Racial Tension in Your City” for Municipal Leaders
  • USDOJ Community Relations Service Toolkit for Policing: “Police Critical Incident Checklist” for Police Officials

Each of these checklists provides concrete, clear action steps to take in order to be prepared for potential racial tension and to act quickly when an event triggers heightened tension in a community.

Each recommends strategies that include partnership and collaboration with all parts of the community and municipal government—particularly the police, and promote transparency, authenticity, consistency, and empathy.

Additionally, CCM will hold a special CARES in Action webinar session on August 31 that will feature presentations and discussion on both of these racial tension checklists.