A racial and social justice commission will be created in Virginia’s Prince William County, with a mission to study “the state of racial and social justice for people of color.”
The Prince William Board of County Supervisors voted to approve the commission during its Tuesday meeting with a partisan 5-3 vote; Democrats in the majority.
The commission “will examine ways to reduce racial disparities, treat all residents equally and proactively give all residents the chance to fully participate in County programs, services and benefits,” according to a news release.
The commission, which will include county residents, will be tasked with submitting a report and recommendations to county supervisors in December 2021.
Prince William County’s board chairwoman Ann Wheeler, D-At Large, said police would be on the commission too.
“This is supposed to be a good thing to elevate and make our community better,” Wheeler said.
“Policing is holistic,” said Supervisor Victor Angry, D-Neabsco District.
“At the end of it all, we will have hopefully what’s best for a strong, a secure and a safe Prince William County.”
But Supervisor Pete Candland, R-Gainesville District, said he was concerned about redundancy, since the county already has a human rights commission. He preferred a task force over a permanent commission.
“I’ve been doing this long enough to know; once created, this is not going anywhere. The infrastructure will be put in there so we can say ‘well, we can have a chance to reverse ourselves in a year on this commission.’ I don’t believe that’s going to happen,” Candland said.