City Racial Equity Actions: 2022 Highlights

Since the Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) launched the City Racial Equity Actions webpage in 2021, departments across the City of Seattle have uploaded 396 Racial Equity Plans (REP). The database is now updated with new projects that will start in 2022. It contains short-term and long-term projects to advance racial equity in the community and in City workplaces. 

The City Racial Equity Actions database was created after community feedback asking for transparency on how the City of Seattle is addressing equity issues. Many departments recognize this need for transparency, listing “intensified engagement with the community” as a measure of success for their projects.

Community organizations and community partners are among the most common stakeholders listed in Racial Equity Plans. City of Seattle employees and Racial Equity Change Teams are also common.

A word chart showing the most common stakeholders listed in Racial Equity Plans. The size of each word shows the frequency. Click for image description.

In addition to stakeholders, each REP contains: 

  • A focus area 
  • Outcomes 
  • Performance measurements. 

The most common focus area is Service Equity: making a department’s programs more accessible for Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities, and other diverse community members. 116 of the 396 projects in the database focus on Service Equity, with most of them seeking “racial equity in service delivery and resource allocation”.

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), for example, is seeking to improve a local bus line by engaging with the community. The Office of Sustainability and Environment (OSE) is distributing $4.8 million in Fresh Bucks to BIPOC communities.

With 98 projects, the second most common focus area in the database is Workforce Equity: internal actions that support City of Seattle employees. Examples of Workforce Equity projects include Seattle Information Technology’s effort to update job descriptions and pay equity for its employees and Seattle Municipal Court creating a career development program that will increase BIPOC representation.

The examples in this article are only a few of the many projects in the database. Visit the City Racial Equity Actions page to explore more of the work that City departments are doing. If you’d like to learn more about a plan, we encourage you to reach out to each project contact.

We recognize that this resource is just a small step toward the City of Seattle’s goal to end race-based disparities. As the database grows, we hope to add more departments and more information about what the City is doing to become an anti-racist institution.

Have questions or feedback about the City Racial Equity Actions page? Email Jason Eastman, RSJI Communications & Operations Advisor at jason.eastman@seattle.gov.