Many of us have thought about what more we can do to create a racially-just and inclusive King County and country. Many conditions in our county continue to become more inequitable with stark demarcations between the haves and the have-nots.
At King County we are very proud to launch our first King County Equity and Social Justice Strategic Plan. This Plan builds on much of the good work that we and our partners have been doing to advance equity in our region and pushes us to become more thoughtful, strategic and effective.
Many leaders nationally and locally are praising this plan as ground-breaking and as a model for tackling inequities at the local and regional level.
We are moving towards becoming a racially-just organization, while being increasingly inclusive, collaborative and people-focused. We are explicitly and intentionally focusing on racial justice to make sure we are tackling the most persistent and entrenched challenges of our lifetime, including institutional and structural racism.
Watch the video below of King County Executive Dow Constantine and Matias Valenzuela, Director of the Office of Equity and Social Justice, discussing King County’s Equity and Social Justice Strategic Plan.
So how will we do this?
Our Equity and Social Justice strategies as One King County are to invest upstream and where needs are greatest, in employees and in community partnerships:
- Our Pro-Equity Policy Agenda is expanding access to opportunity and our determinants of equity in areas such as transportation, environment and climate, health and human services, digital equity and more.
- We are advancing pro-equity policies, systems and practices in six areas of governance, such as in our workforce / workplace and our policies, plans and budgets.
Particularly important is that we are investing in our employees. This means we are working to create an equitable, inclusive and racially-just workplace culture so that each employee feels valued, is treated with dignity and is supported to grow and do their best work. We are removing barriers to employment and retention so we can have a racially-diverse organization at all levels and a workforce that is culturally responsive to all our communities.
This plan is action-oriented and specific. It’s a six-year plan, and every two years we will be checking and adjusting our work to make sure we are moving where and how we want. We will also regularly measure our progress.
You are encouraged to read the Equity and Social Justice Strategic Plan.
In September and October you can attend one of four 2-hour orientation sessions to familiarize yourself with the contents of the Plan (two sessions at the King Street Center and two in the Chinook Building. Registration is required).
- Thursday, September 15 at King Street Center 8th Floor Conference Room, 10:00 am – noon
- Wednesday, September 28 at King Street Center 8th Floor Conference Room, 2:00 – 4:00 pm
- Monday, October 3 at Chinook Building Rooms 121 & 123, 2:00 – 4:00 pm
- Friday, October 14 at Chinook Building Rooms 121 & 123, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm