The Gilbert Town Council on Tuesday endorsed the work of its advisory commission on human relations, but the two groups avoided public discussion of alleged racial and religious discrimination and gang activity in Gilbert outlined in a commission report.
The Gilbert Human Relations Commission presented the four-page report during its first joint meeting with the Town Council, which was established by the council in 2001 after the actions of the so-called Devil Dogs white supremacist gang of young people.
The report alleges white supremacy and anti-Semitic activities, reports of racial discrimination by school officials and racial profiling by police. It also cited favorable and unfavorable treatment based on membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Details were not provided in the report or to council members, who never asked for specifics about the allegations at the Tuesday meeting.
"I think we touched on things more within our scope and things more immediate," commission chairwoman Tawn Hauptli said.
Sgt. Art Johnson of the Gilbert Police Department said during the meeting that police have increased the number of hours of multicultural sensitivity training, but he did not address racial profiling.
Gilbert Police Chief John Brewer could not be reached for comment.
The commission presented 11 proposals, including the hiring of a city diversity director.
"There’s always budget issues, but we don’t want to downplay this and say we’ll wait," panel member Carolyn Irby said.
Other proposals include town participation in "diversity-related events," funding for commission activities, responding to "hate" incidents in Gilbert with news releases, and the appointment of a Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council member to serve on the commission.
"We embrace what you are doing and support what you are doing," Mayor Steve Berman said.
The turnout was small and no one addressed the council and commission.