City councilor tries to defund Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion program

A Missoula City Council member didn’t win any votes from the rest of the council earlier this week in her attempt to defund Missoula’s Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion program.

On Wednesday, Ward 1 representative Heidi West asked for the city’s budget to be amended so that the $147,180 allocated to the JEDI program would instead go to fund after-school recreation programming at Missoula Title I schools, which are federally recognized as having a certain amount of low-income students.

West told her fellow council members that the JEDI program was created in the aftermath of the summer of 2020.

“Several years into JEDI, it is still unclear what needs are being addressed, what this program is intended to do, or how success is defined,” she told the council in her request. “Program accomplishments to date, such as standardizing pay for city staff, should be addressed through existing human resources standards.”

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West said that the JEDI program has instituted and is training staff, administration and elected officials in definitions, processes and policy change theory synthesized by a single vendor called B-Culture.

“These definitions are narrow, limited to a single context of a

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