York City Council looks to create minority advisory commission

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
York City Council President Henry Nixon tells Tonya Thompson-Morgan, not shown, she is out of line during a town hall meeting concerning Mayor Michael Helfrich's hiring of Blanda Nace as chief opportunity development officer, Monday, June 24, 2019. 
John A. Pavoncello photo

York City Council is looking to create a commission to identify and address issues affecting the city's minority community in honor of deceased community advocates Dr. Edwin and Delma Rivera.

City Council President Henry Nixon on Tuesday, Oct. 15, proposed a seven-member Latinx/African American/Multi-Cultural Affairs Commission that would advise local government and develop annual policy recommendations to benefit minorities.

"Our family will be proud to know (the commission) was inspired by my parents," said Delma Rivera-Lytle, the daughter of the community advocates. "I have lived and worked here ... I will continue to do so knowing York City is dedicated to celebrating the diversity of this community and striving to make it inclusive."

Eddie Rivera and sister Delma Rivera-Lytle pose for photos with a sign honoring their parents Dr. Edwin and Delma Rivera during a ceremony, Sunday, September 22, 2019.
John A. Pavoncello photo

More:York City to dedicate block of East Princess to late Puerto Rican activists

Last month, the city dedicated the 200 block of East Princess Street to the Riveras. But the new commission wouldn't only be serving the Latino community that they spent decades advocating for.

York City's population is roughly 32% Latino or Hispanic, 26% African American and 1% Asian, leaving whites in the minority, according to 2018 U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

To better represent those communities, the City Council would appoint seven members: one from the city's Housing Authority; one from the Bureau of Health; another from the York City School District; and four city residents. 

The commission would be tasked with multiple responsibilities, including creating annual policy recommendations, advertising city resources for minority communities and creating a mentorship program for high school students.

The commission would also aid the city in garnering minority participation in the upcoming 2020 census.

The commission would meet monthly. Its members would be approved by the City Council and would serve five-year terms.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.