Gloria D. Gray is under fire from colleagues for failure to appoint more persons of color, and women to water agency committees after saying her appointment represented “diversity”.
Metropolitan Water District Chairwoman Gloria Gray is under fire for her lack of “diversity” when it came to her choices for appointees to the boards various committees.
The TIMES is reporting Gray’s proposed slate of 12 committee chairs and vice chairs, as well as four vice chairs of the MWD board of directors caused a kerfuffle amongst the boards 38 members.
Some of the district’s 38 board members said they were opposed because they thought the appointees didn’t reflect the diversity of Southern California, didn’t adequately represent the largest urban areas or wouldn’t be the best mix of leaders to tackle issues from water affordability to reducing reliance on imported water.
One of her colleagues wrote Gray a letter, pointing out she was attempting to appoint more white person than those of color.
“By my count, you are proposing to appoint 19 white persons and 8 persons of color (if one counts the double appointments individually) to the positions of Committee Chair and Vice Chair. You also are seeking to appoint 16 men and 8 women by similar count for those positions. These disparities are inconsistent with any measure one might apply. It does not reflect the diversity of MWD’s service area, the State of California, or even the United States,” wrote Sylvia Ballin, councilwoman from San Fernando.
“Of the 28 positions you are appointing, 21 of the nominees did not support the hiring of the current General Manager just a few months ago. This represents a 3 to 1 margin over those you are seeking to appoint who voted with the majority to hire the General Manager. This is significant for reasons that have immediate implications,” continued Ballin. “For example, you are proposing to appoint as Chair of the Audit and Ethics Committee, a board member who recently hired a person who engaged in retaliation when he worked at MWD. According to the Ethics Officer who addressed this matter on January 11, that was fully substantiated in a supplemental investigation by the Shaw Group, and has yet to be released to the MWD Board of Directors. The conflict of interest in this case, some would argue is glaring.”
In an interview with DiversityProfessional.com Gray lauded her appointment as Chairwoman of Metropolitan Water as “representing diversity”.
“Metropolitan is over 90 years old and this industry is basically seen as a closed industry and mostly representative of older white men,” she says. “My chairmanship represents diversity. Diversity, inclusion and equity are important in all sectors as well as in the water industry. It brings about a better product and system when you have diversity of thought and perspective.”
What’s up with Black elected officials discriminating against their own, especially when campaigning on a platform saying the direct opposite?
Read the full article on LATimes.com.