We were disappointed this week to see six white male finalists for Lacey Police Chief.
Lacey is becoming more diverse with every passing year; 66 percent of its residents are white and not Latino. The city did a national search, but somehow came up with not a single finalist of color – or a single woman.
But while this seems a particularly glaring omission in Thurston County’s most diverse city, it represents a county-wide problem. Our whole county is now about 75 percent non-Latino whites, and our student population is more diverse. Yet all of our elected leaders – and all our police chiefs – are white.
This is not a problem that requires laying blame so much as it is a problem that requires a solution. At every level of government, and in every organization and political party, we need to recognize and encourage potential and emerging leaders of color. We also need to embrace the reality of our community’s ever-richer cultural diversity, and recognize how much we have to gain from having leaders who represent the full color spectrum of our population.