Credit: City of SLO | Courtesy

The City of San Luis Obispo announced a new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Manager this week, one year after its first appointment in the role.

The City has taken on Nestor Veloz-Passalacqua, whose first day was Feb. 2. Deputy City Manager Greg Hermann told Mustang News Veloz-Passalacqua stood out during the city’s search for a new manager with his passion for DEI and past experience as the DEI Manager for SLO County’s Behavioral Health Department.

One year ago, the city hired its first DEI manager, Beya Makekau, who came over from Cal Poly. But in November, Makekau returned to Cal Poly to continue working on the university’s own DEI efforts.

As manager of San Luis Obispo’s DEI office, Veloz-Passalacqua will lead Citywide DEI initiatives. Key initiatives include DEI High Impact Grants and establishing educational and cultural events with Cal Poly and Cuesta College. More initiatives are listed on the Office of DEI website. In collaboration with city leadership, Veloz-Passalacqua will work to bring opportunities for education, inclusion and belonging within San Luis Obispo. 

Veloz-Passalacqua’s experience with previous policies includes editing the Beneficiary Handbook in English and Spanish for the local behavioral health system along with reviewing contractual documents to ensure affirmative language for service provisions.

“I look forward to working with all City staff to create and enhance safe and brave spaces for all individuals where differences are respected and where we can foster a strong sense of belonging,” Veloz-Passalacqua said in a city news release.