|Social equity policies must be prioritized by the City of Pacific Grove to accomplish the goal of achieving justice and equality for all in our City. To address the issue of systemic racism and prejudice in our community, these policy proposals will establish consistent guidance and processes for our City. The tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020 sparked a national conversation about race and the lack of equality and justice for Black Americans and many people of color. Prior to Mr. Floyd’s murder our own police department received a complaint of an officer who displayed racist decals on their personal vehicle in the City’s employee parking lot. Per the investigation findings the officer “did not violate any City or Police Department policy or law” and remains an active patrolling officer in the City of Pacific Grove. Peninsula wide, statewide, nationally, and in Pacific Grove, community members continue to express their concerns and engage in demonstrations to drive change.
There is no simple, easy solution for dismantling systemic racism or achieving justice. Evaluating city strategies, policies, and working together with community members and stakeholders is integral to securing justice and equality for all in Pacific Grove.
Public policy is the mechanism through which governments have perpetuated racial disparities and injustices throughout the history of our country. As such, public policy has a role to play in reversing that harm and ensuring justice and equality for the residents of our City. Doing so will require an entire rethinking, reevaluation, and recommitment to ensure that all members of our community are supported, invested in, and valued—a goal best achieved by embedding an equity framework into every aspect of governance.
- Establish “Government Accountability Commision” for the City of Pacific Grove
- This commission would make evidence-based recommendations for local reform and monitor outcomes, with special focus on racial equity and social justice. The commission would also identify existing government policies that could be changed to address historical and contemporary inequities.
- The commission will be composed of individuals with policy-area and justice expertise to study and provide recommendations on how to address the opportunities our City may have to enhance equity in all areas. Areas of interest may include: social justice, environmental justice, socioeconomics, improved resident support, government transparency, and other socially responsible policy practices.
- The commission may collect, review, and use data so the City of Pacific Grove can develop equity plans while sharing information, tracking progress, and achieving results.
- Require “Equity Impact Assessment” for All City Policies, Programs, and Services
- As in other cities, these assessments allow local “leaders to look intentionally, comprehensively, and systemically at barriers that may be creating gaps in opportunity.”
- All municipal departments will directly consider equity in their decisions. Many cities have initiated work to promote racial equity and social justice throughout their governmental structures. Cities that do not directly address such issues can inadvertently perpetuate harmful educational, health, and financial inequities.
- By requiring such analysis, the City Council will be better equipped to introduce and consider legislation that supports all Pacific Grove residents. The analysis will evaluate the proposed policy and offer recommendations or explore other policy options when appropriate through an equity lens, including race and ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and identity, socioeconomic status, and geographic location.
- Adopt “Equity Framework for Governance” to Advance Equity and Justice in All Areas of Pacific Grove’Government
- This consistent evaluative lens will ensure the equitable development and delivery of future policies, programs, and services.
- Such a commitment, in the form of a resolution, will affirm the City’s vision towards achieving social equity. Making a long-term commitment to achieving equity begins with a “declaration that all residents deserve an equitable opportunity to succeed – regardless of their race, color, sex, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, disability, income, or where they live.”
- This resolution shall require a commitment to opposing racism and prejudice. The language should also (1) express a commitment to equity in City contracts and MOUs; (2) promote a safe place for employees and citizens to express concerns regarding our City’s response to issues related to race, sex, age, or sexual orientation or identity; (3) direct the City Manager to develop annual “equity plans,” which would include mandatory training for City employees and department heads; and (4) commit to improving data collection and using equity tools to examine policy and service decisions.
- Become a “Core Member of the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE)
- The Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) is a national network of government working to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities for all.
- The Alliance is a joint project of the new Race Forward and the Othering and Belonging Institute.
- Founded in 1981, Race Forward brings systemic analysis and an innovative approach to complex race issues to help people take effective action toward racial equity.
- The Othering and Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley brings together researchers, organizers, stakeholders, communicators, and policymakers to identify and eliminate the barriers to an inclusive, just, and to affirmatively build a more sustainable society and to create transformative change toward a more equitable nation.