They also emphasized wanting the City to help increase community capacity to do this work, not simply handed a set of social programs. Participants agreed that RSJI should continue to prioritize Education, Criminal Justice & Public Safety, and Equitable Development, with attention to structural solutions that address how these areas overlap.
Over the last three years, we also have heard from community members, organizations and institutions about actions that Seattle City government can take for racial equity in these areas.
We did our best to reflect as many of these as possible throughout the Plan.
Here are some of those suggestions:
- Suspensions and expulsions disproportionately impact students of color. They must be replaced with alternative practices that keep young people in school where they can learn and graduate.
- The community wants training on institutional racism and cultural competence for teachers and administrators, with parents encouraged to participate.
- Organizations should have equitable access to City education funding, especially those led by people of color, many of whom are also immigrants and refugees.
- The community wants the School District to recruit teachers and administrators who reflect the diversity of Seattle’s students.
- Higher educational institutions must end racial disparities and create career pathways for all Seattle residents.
- As a community, we must end the School-to-Prison-Pipeline by keeping students in school and ensuring that they graduate on time.
- Police need more race and social justice training to reduce the effects of implicit bias and effectively serve the diverse communities they represent. Seattle must end police practices that impact communities of color more than white communities for the same activities.
- There is a great need for increased access to living wage jobs within Seattle city limits. Education and enforcement of wage theft laws are necessary to eliminate racial disparities in jobs and increase economic stability for people of color.
- Housing and business displacement disproportionately impact people and neighborhoods of color. Seattle needs a significant expansion of affordable housing as well as support for local businesses and arts and cultural organizations owned by people of color, including immigrant and refugee owned businesses.
- The City must eliminate housing barriers for people with criminal records. Racial bias in housing must be addressed through new policies and enforcement.
- The City should develop policies to ensure that development sustains neighborhoods, rather than displace existing residents. All residents, including people of color, should have a say in neighborhood growth and development.
- We need strategies to address the extreme racial disproportionality in homelessness.