Diablo Valley College philosophy professor Robert Abele has been appointed by the El Cerrito City Council to a four-year term on the El Cerrito Human Relations Commission.
“I had been wanting to get involved in my community for some time, and when the timing and the needs of the city presented themselves simultaneously, I jumped at the chance,” Abele said.
A City Council representative told him the city needed a new Commissioner for Human Relations. Abele said, “That was a perfect fit for me, since the mission statement of the Commission concerns the ethical issues of fostering equality, diversity, and justice.” He had an interview with all nine members of the City Council in January, was voted in, and took office in February.
As a commissioner, his main duties are to help actively engage the Commission in organizing and planning public events to foster diversity and mutual tolerance in the city. He also represents the City of El Cerrito in public events that are sponsored by the Commission. So far he has been involved in two public events for Martin Luther King Jr. Day - a lecture and discussion group, and a movie and discussion about King.
“Also,” Abele said, “our Commission is seeking to foster relationships with our neighboring cities of Albany and Richmond. We are currently in the process of setting up meetings between our respective Human Relations Commissions to plan mutually beneficial events to foster justice and equality at all levels of discourse in our cities.”
The Human Relations Commission reports to the City Council, and the events it plans and sponsors are approved and supported by the City Council.