The city of Martinez continues to seek applications from residents to serve on the new Anti-Racism & Discrimination and Pro-Inclusion and Equity Task Force, its goal being to review city policies, programs and procedures for bias, and to help make city committees and commissions more inclusive.

The task force is expected to include nine members representing a diverse cross section of interests, races, ethnic and faith backgrounds, and gender identification and orientation.

As part of its mission, the task force is expected to conduct one or two community “listening meetings” related to race, LGBTQ issues and other personal circumstances or characteristics that impact a sense of inclusion for residents.

The Martinez City Council first approved the concept for such a panel on July 29.

The idea for the task force was suggested after several incidents in Martinez following the death of George Floyd, a Black man, at the hands of Minneapolis police, and subsequent public discussions about racism and “Black Lives Matter” in the city.

The city sought applications for prospective panelists, and a separate six-person community panel interviewed and selected prospective members. That first panel presented to the council on Oct. 21, comprised nine members and two alternates, and included seven white members and only one Black member. That lack of diversity prompted a decision to redo the process, this time with more aggressive and targeted recruitment.

Interested residents can apply online for a seat on the task force.