CITY OF SEATTLE
A RESOLUTION confirming that the City of Seattle's core value of race and social equity is one of the foundations on which the Comprehensive Plan is built.
WHEREAS, Seattle was a national leader when it made social equity one of the four core values in the original 1994 Comprehensive Plan and will continue to demonstrate leadership in advancing social equity through planning processes; and
WHEREAS, the state Growth Management Act requires goals for housing, economic development, and community participation, and Seattle is committed to social equity through establishing equity goals and policies for all elements of its Comprehensive Plan; and
WHEREAS, Mayor Nickels launched the City's Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) in 2004 to eliminate race-based disparities within Seattle, and Mayor Murray's RSJI Executive Order 2014-02 declared the City will incorporate a racial equity lens in citywide initiatives to achieve coordinated planning and equitable growth; and
WHEREAS, while it has long been assumed that there is a trade-off between equity and economic efficiency, new evidence shows that regions that work toward equity have stronger and more resilient economic growth - for everyone; and
WHEREAS, race and social equity planning includes not only shared distribution of the benefits and burdens of growth and investments, but also partnership in the process resulting in shared decision-making and more equitable outcomes that strengthen the entire region; and
WHEREAS, the City works to create racial equity by explicitly naming and addressing the historic and current impacts of institutional and structural racism in our policies, procedures, programming, initiatives, and budgetary decisions; and
WHEREAS, the City acknowledges that structural and institutional racism, including redlining, restrictive racial covenants, and other discriminatory practices led to racial segregation and current racial disparities in quality of life outcomes such as access to quality education, living wage employment, healthy environment, affordable housing, and transportation; and
WHEREAS, the City's Comprehensive Plan is a 20-year vision and roadmap for Seattle's future growth that provides an opportunity to articulate how the City will reduce race and social disparities related to growth; and
WHEREAS, the Seattle Planning Commission, Women's Commission, Human Rights Commission, Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Commission, and Immigrant and Refugee Commission jointly submitted a letter to the Mayor and City Council declaring race and social equity to be a priority for the Comprehensive Plan update; and
WHEREAS, the Equitable Development Initiative, led by the Department of Planning and Development and the Office for Civil Rights, provides oversight and an equity framework for the Comprehensive Plan; and
WHEREAS, some urban villages and centers experience racial and economic segregation and are home to residents, businesses, and community organizations at risk of displacement due to a range of institutional and systemic factors, as well as new development that the Comprehensive Plan anticipates for those villages and centers; and
WHEREAS, City Council Resolution 31492 adopting the Growing Transit Communities Compact recognizes the importance of equitably distributing the benefits and burdens of growth and of having clear goals to define and measure successful equitable growth; and
WHEREAS, achieving equitable growth requires further work by City offices and departments to implement plans and tools that will operationalize the new equity goals and policies in the updated Comprehensive Plan; and
WHEREAS, because the City benefits from the diversity of its population, the City desires to incorporate the expertise of those most negatively impacted by growth to provide guidance on policies and investments; NOW, THEREFORE,
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SEATTLE, THE MAYOR CONCURRING, THAT:
Section 1. Race and Social Equity Core Value. The City will rename the current Social Equity Core Value to be the Race and Social Equity Core Value. The City will make this value a foundation of the Comprehensive Plan (Plan), integrating it into the other core values.
Section 2. Defining the Race and Social Equity Core Value. The City's Equitable Development Initiative used the City's Racial Equity Toolkit (RET) and other best practices to review the current Plan, producing the following definitions for key terms to be used to provide clear and consistent language throughout the Plan.
A. Marginalized People: Persons and communities of color, immigrants and refugees, those experiencing poverty, and people living with disabilities.
B. Race and Social Equity: The time when all marginalized people can attain those resources, opportunities, and outcomes that improve their quality of life and enable them to reach their full potential. The city has a collective responsibility to address the history of inequities in existing systems and their ongoing impacts in Seattle communities, leveraging collective resources to create communities of opportunity for everyone, regardless of race or means.
C. Equitable Development: Public and private investments, programs, and policies in neighborhoods to meet the needs of marginalized people and reduce disparities, taking into account past history and current conditions, so that quality of life outcomes such as access to quality education, living wage employment, healthy environment, affordable housing and transportation, are equitably distributed for the people currently living and working here, as well as for new people moving in.
Section 3. Incorporating Race and Social Equity in the Plan. The update process will include an equity analysis focused on outcomes for people, in addition to places. The City will continue to use the RET to identify and address equity-related issues relevant to the Plan in order to incorporate equity into the Plan in the following areas:
A. Introduction and Core Value. The Plan's introduction will articulate a definition of race and social equity and a clear vision of equitable growth. It will also provide the rationale for making race and social equity a foundation of the Plan, will include a description of current context, connect historical decisions to current conditions, and will articulate the benefits of addressing race and social equity into the Comprehensive Plan. The race and social equity core value statement will include the Principles of Equitable Development ratified by the Puget Sound Regional Equity Network in 2012.
B. Elements. New equity goals and policies will be consistent and clear throughout the entire Plan. Goals and policies for capital investments and the provision of public services will include but are not limited to the City's priority to eliminate racial and social disparities.
Section 4. Growth Strategy Equity Analysis. The Executive will analyze and report on how the growth scenarios being reviewed in the environmental impact statement could have differential impacts on marginalized people, including the public interventions needed so that these populations can benefit from and not be displaced or overly burdened by the future impacts of growth, and recognizing that impacts may be different for different communities. The analysis will consider the potential displacement of residents, communities and businesses due to market forces, as well as the positive impact that new investments in quality education, employment, public services, transportation and other infrastructure, and other amenities can have in reducing their vulnerability to displacement. The analysis will also consider how growth scenarios may increase opportunities for these populations to live and work in areas with existing quality education, employment, services, infrastructure and other amenities.
Section 5. Equity Measurements. Quantifiable city-wide community indicators of equitable growth will be identified, measured over time, and reported annually as part of the City's ongoing monitoring of the Plan's effects on race and social equity over time. Equity measurements will track growth and displacement issues and be disaggregated by race, ethnicity, and income when possible. Equity measures will be updated as more data is available to measure impacts of growth for marginalized people.
Section 6. The City strives to make the Plan more understandable and to seek community input on the Plan by:
A. Issuing, at the same time as the release of the draft Plan, a "Plan Summary" that uses clear and simple language to highlight policy changes including policies related to race and social equity and the equity analysis of the growth strategies.
B. Using RSJI's Inclusive Outreach and Public Engagement best practices to engage historically underrepresented communities during the Plan's public review period; and
C. Continuing to invite collaboration with the Planning Commission, other commissions, and community organizations to review equity goals and policies.
Section 7. Stewardship of Race and Social Equity. The City will incorporate the expertise of those most negatively impacted by growth to provide guidance on policies and investments so that marginalized people can benefit from, and not be displaced or overly burdened by, future growth.
A. Community Representation. The City will seek guidance on City policies and investments from community bodies who demonstrate inclusive representation and voice, especially of marginalized people.
B. The Seattle Planning Commission. The Seattle Planning Commission will annually review and report on the updated Equity Measures, and with the collaboration of relevant commissions and community organizations, guide, monitor, and recommend revisions to the Plan's equity goals, policies and definitions, as appropriate.
Section 8. The Department of Planning and Development and Office for Civil Rights will report back to the Council on the goals and policies related to the race and social equity core value as part of the briefings on the Plan update. The Director's Report to the Executive will submit to Council along with the legislation updating the Plan will describe the goals and policies related to the race and social equity core value.
Section 9. Schedule. To the extent feasible:
By May 2015, the Executive intends to issue a draft environmental impact statement examining alternative growth scenarios as part of Seattle 2035;
By July 2015, the Executive will issue a draft plan for public review and comment;
By December 2015, the Executive will issue a final environmental impact statement and a recommended plan; and
In 2016, the Council will consider a recommended plan for adoption.
Adopted by the City Council the ____ day of ____________________, 2015, and signed by me in open session in authentication of its adoption this________ day
of ______________________, 2015.
President ___________of the City Council
The Mayor concurred the _____ day of _______________________, 2015
Edward B. Murray, Mayor
Filed by me this ____ day of ________________________, 2015.
Monica Martinez Simmons, City Clerk