D.C. unveils draft of racial equity action plan
D.C. has released a draft of its first-ever racial equity plan, a framework to guide government agencies on improving racial equity through policymaking.
Why it matters: The plan attempts to address the stark racial inequities across the District, including wealth, home ownership, and health outcomes.
- According to the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute, white households in D.C. have 81 times the wealth of Black households and 22 times the wealth of Latino households.
- The pandemic has highlighted stark inequities between Washingtonians, with Black residents making up a majority of COVID deaths. There were also concerns that communities of color were receiving less access to vaccines than white communities.
Zoom out: Other major cities, including Minneapolis and Austin, have similar plans, which D.C. says they consulted, in addition to hearing feedback from agency leaders and community members.
Details: Under the plan, the Office for Racial Equity will provide racial equity training to D.C. agencies. The plan will also develop a list of racial indicators to help guide health, safety, housing, and economic policies.
- Proposed racial indicators will consider the poverty rate, the preterm birth rate, and access to resources such as dental care.
What they’re saying: “We know… hundreds of years of discrimination and worse has wreaked havoc on the bodies of Black people in our country and that plays out,” in these outcomes, Mayor Muriel Bowser told reporters yesterday.
What’s next: The plan will be open for public comment until Jan. 2 at 5pm.
- Once the plan is implemented, agencies will submit their progress to the mayor’s office, says Amber Hewitt, director of the Mayor’s Office of Racial Equity. The plan's progress will be publicly available through a forthcoming dashboard.
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