During Thursday night’s Erie County Council meeting, council members heard a first reading on the possible appointment of several people to the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Commission. 

The commission — first created by former Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper in 2020 as part of a resolution to address issues facing Erie’s black community — has been the center of controversy as of late.        

The three possible appointments to replace ousted members are Jonathan Atkinson, Dr. Ricardo Escajadillo, and Mario Andrew Medina.

Council chairman Brian Shank had this to say before last night’s meeting.

“The Diversity and Inclusion Commission, we’ve kind of put a pause on that and we really haven’t put anybody up yet. I think if they are up for the inclusion and the diversity, I think we have one sitting on the table now because I would believe that’s the direction that would have to wait until we get some better direction of what’s going on with the county executive,” said Brian Shank, chairman, Erie County Council.

The first reading passed and will now move to a final reading which will be held during next week’s county council meeting.