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Climate change grant programs can provide multiple benefits, including improved air quality, lower electricity costs, improved health outcomes, and green job opportunities. However, these benefits often fail to reach low-income communities of color—even though these communities tend to live in the most polluted neighborhoods and stand to greatly benefit from the improved environmental and economic conditions that clean energy resources can provide. Climate change grant programs represent one way to level the playing field and make clean energy benefits reach all communities, but they must be designed intentionally with equity. Grant programs must clearly define their social equity goals and develop evaluation criteria to track success. The analysis should indicate the strengths and areas for improvement in meeting equity goals and should be used to inform the direction of the program moving forward. Programs must plan proactively to collect the data needed to evaluate their success or shortcomings in meeting social equity goals.
Communities of color continue to be excluded from homeownership, a crucial wealth building vehicle for families in the U.S. With concerns about gentrification and displacement rising in many areas, homeownership rates are not equally distributed along racial and ethnic lines, and people of color do not access mortgages at equal rates as their White counterparts. We used home mortgage data collected under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act to provide insight into lending patterns to communities of color in California and the three cities of Fresno, Oakland, and Long Beach – chosen for their demographic and geographic diversity. People of color are largely underrepresented in loans received across California, and especially in the urban areas of Long Beach and Oakland. Overall, communities of color do not access home purchase loans at rates comparable to non-Hispanic Whites. Further, home purchase loans in low- to moderate-income census tracts across California vastly exceeded loans to low- to moderate-income borrowers – creating what seems to be a statistical portrait of gentrification. As our demographics continue to shift, our economic prosperity will increasingly depend on people of color having expanding access and opportunity to reach their full potential.
In addition to disenfranchising people through law and policy, felony disenfranchisement laws create additional barriers to voting. The complexity of these laws and a lack of awareness about them have caused confusion and misinformation among formerly incarcerated communities as well as probation officers and the general public. Many who are actually eligible to vote do not know they are eligible and therefore refrain from voting. This report unpacks the issue of felony disenfranchisement in California by studying the issue from the community’s perspective, asking questions about the importance of voting among the formerly incarcerated, their current knowledge and awareness of who can vote, what their primary barriers are to voting and what suggestions they have for how to improve both access to voting and access to information about who can vote.
The U.S. has seen tremendous growth in shared-use mobility services over the past decade. This expansion, however, has not reached underserved communities. Low-income households could greatly benefit from the cost-savings of sharing otherwise underused assets, as these communities lack sufficient access to public transit and “first-last mile” solutions. The Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC) interviewed carsharing company experts with experience serving low-income communities, an insurance industry expert with substantial experience working with carsharing companies, and leaders of community-based organizations (CBOs). These entities brought unique insight in identifying best practices that can be encouraged through government regulations. These recommendations can guide program design and are summarized at the end of this report. Interviewees helped inform four major policy areas: (1) outreach; (2) infrastructure; (3) insurance; and (4) credit/payment. Interviewees offered their expert opinions and recommendations for how to successfully implement low-income carsharing programs.
For small business owners of color, entrepreneurship remains a critical wealth-building tool providing a pathway to self-determination and the middle class. In Oakland and nationally, entrepreneurs of color face significant barriers in starting and scaling their business due to the racial wealth gap, among other barriers.The city of Oakland knows the unique barriers its residents and entrepreneurs of color face. It released a 2018-2020 Economic Development Strategy with a racial equity lens, and a notable goal is to shrink the racial wealth gap through asset building in local communities of color. To support the city’s 2018-2020 Economic Development Strategy, The Greenlining Institute assembled a Small Business Advisory Group comprised of local small business leaders committed to advancing the needs of Oakland’s entrepreneurs of color. With this white paper, the SBAG provides the city a menu of recommendations to achieve the ambitious racial equity and small business goals included in its 2018-2020 Economic Development Strategy. This white paper includes specific recommendations for the city to foster a healthy and more inclusive small business ecosystem that allows entrepreneurs of color to thrive.
This issue brief analyzes the inclusion of people of color in the workforce, contracting networks, and supply chains from 2014-2016 of eight federal government offices: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Reserve Board of Governors, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Housing Finance Agency, National Credit Union Administration, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, US Securities and Exchange Commission, and the US Department of the Treasury Departmental Offices.
Supplier diversity is a powerful tool for economic development in communities of color. Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) are more likely to operate as small businesses and employ locals, making them a pillar for communities of color. Contract opportunities from larger corporations allow MBEs to generate wealth, create jobs, and grow their businesses. Unfortunately, MBEs are still less likely than their white counterparts to break through the “old boy network” and obtain these contracts. Supplier diversity initiatives require neither quotas nor mandates for contracting with diverse businesses. Instead, they consist of intentional practices meant to improve access and opportunities for MBEs and level the playing field. From accounting to paperclips, banks annually spend trillions of dollars contracting with businesses for goods and services. These contract dollars create economic ripples that promote business growth, job creation, anddrive market innovation. In short, how banks spend money matters to the community. This contract spending is especially important to diverse communities and their local minority business enterprises. Even in the volatile economy of 2002 to 2010, MBEs consistently outpaced the growth of their white counterparts by total number of businesses and gross receipts. Nonetheless, MBEs experience barriers to winning contracts and generally do less business with banks. This report analyzes 2012-2014 supplier diversity spending at California’s eight largest banks.
This report summarizes key opportunities and barriers for Boys and Men of Color(BMoC) in allied health professions. Through a literature review and interviews with key stakeholders, we have identified three areas — public K-12 education, the juvenile justice system, and men’s health — that have significant impacts. By coordinating state and regional efforts, California can increase the diversity of its health sector while simultaneously creating a viable solution to chronic unemployment in communities of color. Recommendations include: (1) Creating a trust fund for sustained, long-term funding for linked-learning pathway programs for BMoC; (2) Creating industry buy-in to support linked-learning pathway programs in partnership with hospitals, health insurance providers, and health clinics; (3) Adjusting employment law to assess criminal background information on an individual basis, rather than being a blanket barrier to employment; (4) Creating targeted hiring agreements with local governments and health sector employers to encourage BMoC employment, and (5) Attending to the physical, emotional, and mental health of BMoC in employment and linked-learning programs.
This publication explains the critical role of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the fight for racial justice. It forms the foundation for our forthcoming toolkit, which will provide resources to companies, advocates and others seeking to utilize DEI in advocacy to create jobs for communities of color. Buzzwords like “diversity,” “equity” and “inclusion” receive more attention than ever. From Oscar nominations to the president’s cabinet, major new headlines and social media hashtags make one thing clear: Their absence is bad, and people care. What remains uncertain, however, is 1) these values’ relevance to larger social movements and 2) how to go beyond “moving the needle” to make significant gains.
This report examines the state of technology for electric trucks and buses, their life cycle emissions, and job opportunities presented by an expanding market for electric heavy-duty vehicles. While clean air and climate policies across the country have sparked sales of passenger electric vehicles, deployment of similar technologies for heavy-duty trucks and buses has been slower. California is shifting this balance, with policies and investments to bring electric trucks and buses to market. With recent innovation, these vehicles can meet the requirements of many demanding applications. And with the right job-training and equitable hiring policies and programs, California’s emerging electric truck and bus sector can provide opportunities to increase employment in underserved communities. Pollutants from heavy-duty vehicles pose health risks at all stages of life, from premature births to premature deaths. Studies have associated air pollution with adverse effects on nearly every organ system in the body. While air pollution affects us all, low-income communities and communities of color are more likely to be located near ports, rail yards, ware- houses, and busy roads, where they suffer disproportionally from the consequences of dirty air. These localized inequities are particularly important because mitigation strategies to reduce regional air pollution may not address disproportion- ate exposure to pollutants at the local level.