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Record No: Res 31613    Version: 1 Council Bill No:
Type: Resolution (Res) Status: Adopted
Current Controlling Legislative Body City Clerk
On agenda: 9/8/2015
Ordinance No:
Title: A RESOLUTION creating the Demographic Data Task Force to recommend strategies to standardize and disaggregate demographic data used by City departments in allocating resources and developing City policies, programs, and services.
Sponsors: John Okamoto, Tim Burgess, Bruce Harrell
Supporting documents: 1. Summary and Fiscal Note, 2. Signed Resn 31613


RESOLUTION _________________



A RESOLUTION creating the Demographic Data Task Force to recommend strategies to standardize and disaggregate demographic data used by City departments in allocating resources and developing City policies, programs, and services.



WHEREAS, in 2004 The City of Seattle (City) launched a Race and Social Justice Initiative with the vision of achieving racial equity in the community and the mission of ending institutionalized racism in City government, promoting inclusion and full participation of all residents, and partnering with the community to achieve racial equity across Seattle; and

WHEREAS, in 2014, the Mayor expanded the Race and Social Justice Initiative, mandating that the City track outcomes that address racial and social disparities persisting across key indicators of success, including education, equitable development, health, housing, jobs, criminal justice, environment, service equity, and arts and culture; and

WHEREAS, the City recognizes the importance of collecting and analyzing demographic data to inform its policy decisions and effectively provide services to its fast-growing and increasingly diverse population; and

WHEREAS, Resolution 31425 established the Council’s expectations that new or expanded programs articulate clear, specific, and measurable goals and outcomes and include evaluation components when not already evidence-based; and

WHEREAS, some City departments collect and analyze client data to inform how to allocate their resources, but data collection methods and demographic categories are not standardized across departments; and

WHEREAS, client data only captures the needs of people who are already receiving services and neglects those who have not yet accessed services; and

WHEREAS, the City supplements its data with federal data from the U.S. decennial census and the American Community Survey; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. decennial census disaggregates data but is infrequent, and the American Community Survey has a high margin of error for disaggregated populations; and

WHEREAS, federal and City race data both fold diverse immigrants and refugees from Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa into the “White” category; those from other parts of Africa into the “Black” category; those from Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands into the “Pacific Islander” category; those from the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam, into the “Asian American” category; and original people from North and South America who maintain tribal affiliation or community attachment into the “American Indian or Alaskan Native” category; and

WHEREAS, race and ethnicity are considered as separate concepts with ethnic categories including people of Hispanic or Latino origin; and

WHEREAS, data that aggregates diverse populations in broad race and ethnicity categories masks the socioeconomic, educational, and health needs of subpopulations and hinders the City’s attempts to achieve equity in policy outcomes; and

WHEREAS, in 2010, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Washington State Education Research & Data Center began collecting disaggregated education data in response to recommendations from the state’s Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee; and

WHEREAS, in 2015, the National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education (NCARE) studied disaggregated data in K-12 schools and some public colleges and universities in Washington; and

WHEREAS, the NCARE study found stark educational disparities within the Asian American and Pacific Islander student population, with eight subgroups having educational attainment rates that fell below the state average between 2011 and 2013;

WHEREAS, the NCARE study recommended the use of disaggregated data to help target interventions and support services; and

WHEREAS, standardized, disaggregated data is necessary to improve the City’s policymaking and resource allocation strategies; NOW, THEREFORE,


Section 1.  The Seattle City Council and the Mayor are committed to using data-driven decisions to achieve specific and measurable policy outcomes. As broader policies affect demographic subgroups differently, it is vitally important to track disaggregated data among subgroups in order to more accurately ensure equity in policy outcomes.

Section 2.  The Seattle City Council and the Mayor establish the Demographic Data Task Force ("Task Force") to identify and recommend improvements to the City’s demographic data collection, disaggregation, and analysis practices.  The Task Force will develop ways to increase the standardization of demographic data across City departments.

A. Composition.  The Task Force shall be staffed by the Executive as determined by the Mayor or the Mayor’s designee and be composed of the following:

1. City Demographer

2. One representative from each of the following departments and agencies to be appointed by the head of such department or agency:

a. City Budget Office

b. Office of Civil Rights                     

c. Office of Economic Development

d. Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs

e. Department of Planning and Development, or its equivalent

f. Department of Education and Early Learning

g. Department of Information Technology                     

h. Human Services Department

i. Public Health - Seattle and King County

j. Legislative Department

3. Other members deemed necessary by the Mayor or the Mayor’s designee.

B. Purpose. The purpose of the Task Force is to study the demographic data collection and analysis methods currently employed by City departments.  The Task Force will identify the limitations of available datasets and create a strategy to more effectively standardize and disaggregate demographic data across all City departments while maintaining City privacy principles.  The strategy shall include (1) a proposed mechanism that will allow departments to easily access data for policymaking and resource allocation decisions and (2) a methodology for data collection and analysis that is common to all City departments.

C. Scope of work. The Task Force shall:

1. Inventory existing demographic data collected by City departments; and

2. Perform a gap analysis on the inventory to determine where demographic data is lacking or insufficient for the City to make data-driven decisions on policies and resource allocation; and

3. Recommend new data collection methods based on the gap analysis; and

4. Explore best practices and models to increase the standardization of demographic data collection and analysis among departments; and

5. Evaluate the barriers to disaggregating data and recommend strategies to overcome the barriers; and

6. Develop a data collection and analysis methodology that will be used by all City departments and aid in establishing priority populations; and

7. Propose a mechanism for demographic data to be centralized and easily accessed by City departments in order to make policy and resource allocation decisions; and

8. Determine the fiscal implications of the recommended models and strategies for standardizing and disaggregating the City’s demographic data; and

9. Determine a timeline for the implementation of the proposed strategies.

Section 3.  The City requests that the Task Force submit a report to the City Council and the Mayor detailing its findings no later than July 1, 2016.



                     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