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Currently across the country, regardless of region, racial inequities exist across every indicator for success - including health, criminal justice, education, jobs, housing, and beyond. We know these inequities are incongruent with our aspirations. The Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE), a joint project of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at the University of California, Berkeley and Center for Social Inclusion, recognizes that we can and must do better. We know that government has a key role in advancing racial equity, and therefore are modeling at the local level how it is truly possible for government to advance racial equity and to develop into an inclusive and effective democracy.
The first quarter of the 21st century may well be remembered as the period in which U.S. cities regained their footing, showed their resilience, and became drivers of economic innovation. All-In Cities, a new initiative launched with this report, offers tools and strategies to accelerate this process and ensure city success is sustained by deliberately baking in pathways for all to contribute and prosper, a crucial ingredient for \"comeback cities.\" All-In Cities marks a continued effort to shift the narrative on racial inequality in America. We believe that dismantling persistent racial barriers and investing in the people of color who are the emerging majority is both the right thing to do and critical to securing America\'s economic future. Cities are ground zero for demonstrating this interconnectedness. Success in cities and the nation depends on the ability of people of color to be the leaders, innovators, workers, entrepreneurs, and creative problem solvers who can produce widespread prosperity for generations. This report, along with the All-In Cities initiative, focuses on the particular role of cities in moving toward an all-in nation. Large and small, urban and suburban, cities are where most people of color live and where the next economy is taking shape. They are where movements countering inequality and police brutality are capturing the public\'s imagination and propelling forward new policy solutions. And cities are where working-class communities of color are most able to be equal partners in creating innovative solutions.
This report is based on dozens of interviews with practitioners, academics, and community members, as well as a review of various reports, studies, and surveys. It shares the resulting findings through key research insights, a review of best practices, and relevant examples. It seeks to broaden awareness, discourse, and adoption of community control of land and housing strategies among various stakeholders who have a genuine desire to see stable, healthy, equitable, and sustainable local communities flourish. These stakeholders include community activists, municipal officials, economic development professionals, community development practitioners, anchor institution leaders, and social investors.
While local governments may consider themselves fair and just, people of color fare worse than their white counterparts in every area: housing, employment, education, justice, and health. Current day disparities are just as bad and sometimes worse than they were before the Civil Rights era. Since then, most governments have not made significant changes in outcomes for employees or residents of color, even with years of effort. Because local governments have a unique responsibility to all residents, these racial inequities can and must be addressed. The public sector must be for the public good; current racial inequities are destructive. We must go beyond individual, intentional discrimination or acts of bigotry, and examine the systems in which we all live. We must investigate - honestly - how our longstanding systems, policies, and practices, unintentionally or not, have created and continue to maintain racial inequity, and we must change them.
Social Equity means all people can attain the resources and opportunities that improve their quality of life and enable them to reach their full potential. Addressing the history of inequities in the systems we work in and their on-going impacts in our communities is a shared responsibility. Social equity also means that those affected by poverty, communities of color, and historically marginalized communities have leadership and influence in decision making processes, planning, and policy-making. Together we can leverage our collective resources to create communities of opportunity.
This scorecard was created by Twin Cities, MN community leaders to ensure that the principles and practices of equitable development, environmental justice, and affordability are applied in all communities as they plan for economic development and wealth creation that benefits everyone.
Viewing transit-oriented development (TOD) through an equity lens through every step along the process is essential. eTOD elevates and prioritizes community voice whether in efforts to avoid or stop displacement of community residents, local businesses, and culture or to ensure that transit is affordable, reliable and accessible. It supports investments and policies that close the socioeconomic gaps between communities in which the majority of residents are people of color and those that are majority white.
Major economic development projects and infrastructure investment can present both tremendous opportunities and significant threats for communities and residents. Using a community benefits approach, as a local government official you have powerful tools available to ensure that these projects provide the greatest social, economic and environmental benefits while also not harming surrounding neighborhoods. In short, community benefits are assets available through economic development that meet real community needs. Examples include community access to living wage jobs, affordable housing, health and community services and open space.
The principles and practices of equitable development, environmental justice, and affordability are guides for all communities: suburban cities, rural communities and urban neighborhoods as they plan and implement economic development that benefits everyone. This equitable development tool will help guide development projects to 1) become economically vibrant with creative new affordable housing options that complement transit development 2) embrace the important concepts of local placemaking, livability, accessibility, walkability 3) increase the number of local stakeholders planning development projects. Working in partnership; government and low income, communities of color, people living with disabilities and seniors can ensure equitable development in our region.