Use the Racial Equity Toolkit in City government

The City of Seattle’s Budget Office now requires departments to conduct a racial equity analysis of all budget requests. In addition, most City departments and interdepartmental teams have used the Toolkit. In 2014, the Utility Discount Program and the Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan both used the Racial Equity Toolkit to shape their programs.

Lesson learned: Toolkit use was inconsistent across City departments, and staff sometimes struggled to understand how to apply the Toolkit to their work. The City should require more consistent use of the Toolkit and RSJI must provide more technical assistance to departments.

Online racial justice work plans

City departments now post their annual RSJI work plans to the RSJI web site so the community can view progress by department, city neighborhood and Equity Areas. In 2015, the site will be upgraded to show indicators in education, criminal justice and equitable development.

Lesson learned: Posting work plans online is an important accountability measure, but we are still working to ensure that departmental actions incorporate specific racial equity measures to ensure our work leads to meaningful outcomes.

Inclusive Outreach and Public Engagement (IOPE)

City departments provide targeted outreach to under-represented communities, including immigrant and refugee communities, for their input on programs. City outreach and engagement staff also developed tools for specific departments and provided training on simple English language writing.

Lesson learned: Departments have greatly improved community outreach and engagement, but the RSJI Community Survey revealed that not all residents feel their input is valued.