Kent City Council Declares April 2018 Compassionate City Month

Council members (from left) Garret Ferrara, Council Ward One, Mayor Jerry Fiala, President of Council, Jack Amrhein, Ward Two and Robin G. Turner, Ward Three Discuss agenda items on Wednesday, Mar. 21, 2018.

 The Kent City Council unanimously declared the city of Kent as a Compassionate City and named the month of April 2018 as “Compassionate Action Month,” at their meeting on Wednesday Mar. 21.

The council’s affirmation of this resolution designates Kent as a city that endeavors through its citizens, government and institutions to work together to embrace and apply compassionate solutions to community issues.  

 


Roger Sidoti, Kent Council-at-Large, comments on the impact the city of Kent has provided it’s community members.

 

“We needed some kind of umbrella, and out of that came something called OneKent Initiative,” Roger Sidoti, Kent Council-at-Large, said. “We all have different motivations, and different religions, different people.” OneKent initiative aims to bring the city’s citizens closer together, celebrating both individuality and the community as a whole.

The OneKent initiative has prompted the council to work on a large array of items, but one of the most intriguing things brought before them, was a global association called Compassionate Communities.

“We made a commitment and it is time that we move forward,” Sidoti said. He can’t think of a better time, than when Kent is set to celebrate Compassionate City Month. According to kent360.com, one of the main goals of the initiative is to help Kent in becoming a genuine, compassionate community.

Compassionate City Month is an international campaign put on by the Charter For Compassion, to help promote a network of groups in which their citizens join together to build stronger and more united communities. By trying to become a compassionate city themselves, Kent would join this long list of groups ranging from cities and villages, to states and countries, in helping to put compassion at the heart of their community.

Councils at Large Gwen Rosenberg and Roger Sidoti discuss issues like the Compassionate City initiative at the Wednesday, Mar. 21, 2018 council meeting.

Any city, group or organization that recognizes the need for greater compassion initiatives in their community are able to become a Compassionate City. Although, there isn’t one specific path to a group becoming designated as compassionate according to the charter. It suggests that, “the process be designed and carried out by a diverse and inclusive coalition of people so that all voices within the community are heard, and the significant issues are addressed.”

 

In Sept. of 2016, Kent’s city council unanimously passed a motion to explore the feasibility of creating a “multi-cultural commission,” in which grassroots members in the city would come together to lead this initiative, in order to give a diverse voice to the community.  Sidoti asked the question, “How do we make everyone feel like they have a voice in the community, and they’re a part of the community?”

 

The city council is taking action to find funding and hire an individual to put the work into making the effort successful. Kent City Council members unanimously voted to hire someone part-time or under contract, to perform small focus groups and gather more information in order to get a picture of where Kent’s community is today, and to set the stage for the next strategic plan. “The time is right, we have laid the groundwork for two years and need to give direction to our administration,” Sidoti said.

 

 

“We have some work to do, in terms of how do we demonstrate, How are we a compassionate city?” Council members have also discussed how to honor compassionate action month, suggesting using yard signs or a comment page on facebook to further create ideas. Members are welcome to all these ideas in order to spread awareness using media, but have yet to take full action on this.