Mayor Murray expands Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative

Mayor Murray today signed an executive order affirming the City’s commitment to the Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI), expanding the program’s work to include measurable outcomes, greater accountability, and community-wide efforts to achieve racial equity throughout Seattle.

“I am signing an Executive Order that not only reaffirms but expands the reach of Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative,” said Murray. “This Executive Order now requires the City to take important steps to partner with the community to build racial equity.”

To expand the scope and reach of the Race and Social Justice Initiative, the executive order directs the following to achieve racial equity:

Measurable outcomes and greater accountability

  • Establish and implement new goals, track outcomes over time and publish a report on an annual basis to report the City’s progress towards achieving racial equity in nine equity areas: education, equitable development, criminal justice, jobs, housing, health, environment, service equity, and arts and culture.
  • Use a Race and Social Justice Assessment Program to help identify opportunities for improvement and ensure community accountability, review programs, policies and practices.
  • Incorporate a racial equity lens to all citywide initiatives, such as including the legislation to increase the minimum wage.
  • Continued promotion of full civic inclusion and participation through the use of the City’s Inclusive Outreach and Public Engagement Toolkit and other best practices. Apply the City’s Racial Equity Toolkit on all budget proposals.
  • Support an RSJI Subcabinet to provide input on citywide implementation of RSJI and develop new innovations and partnerships with the public and private sector.
  • Ensure that all hiring and promotional activities are fair and equitable, both in process and in outcomes, train employees on racial equity as part of their day-to-day work, and develop new Citywide training to expand employees’ knowledge and skills.

Beginning this year, the city will prioritize their racial equity work in the areas of education, equitable development and criminal justice, areas identified as the top three priorities by the community. The city also will partner with educational institutions, including two and four-year colleges, to create Cradle to Career Pathways for all Seattle residents, and work with community organizations to create a Community Equity Institute. Read the complete Executive Order here.

The Seattle Office for Civil Rights also released data from the first RSJI Community Survey (conducted in October 2013) and announced a community-wide planning process to develop the City’s 2015-2017 RSJI Three-Year Plan.

The City of Seattle launched the Race and Social Justice Initiative in 2004, led by the Seattle Office for Civil Rights (SOCR), with the vision of achieving racial equity in the community and the mission of ending institutionalized racism in City government, promoting inclusion and full participation of all residents, and partnering with the community to achieve racial equity across Seattle.

Video from the press event: