Equity & Environment Initiative

Launched in 2015, Seattle's Equity & Environment Initiative (EEI) is partnership of the City and the community to deepen Seattle's commitment to race and social justice in environmental work. While Seattle has long been recognized as an environmental leader, we face many of the same challenges as the broader U.S. environmental movement: those who shape and benefit from environmental policies and outcomes are primarily white, upper-income communities. Those who do not benefit from progressive policies are overburdened with health, social, and economic impacts and the EEI seeks to flip those outcomes.

Goals of the Equity & Environment Initiative:

  • All people and communities benefit from Seattle's environmental progress.
  • Communities most impacted by environmental injustice are engaged in setting environmental priorities, designing strategies and tracking progress.
  • People of color, immigrants and refugees, indigenous peoples, people with low incomes, and English language learners have opportunities to be part of and leaders in the mainstream environmental movement.

Key Elements of the Equity & Environment Initiative: 

Equity & Environment Agenda
Developed in deep partnership with community and engaging over 1000 residents, the Equity & Environment Agenda guides our work in advancing racial equity in Seattle's environmental programs and policies. The Agenda lays out four key goal areas and recommended strategies in each area. 

Environmental Justice Committee
The Environmental Justice Committee (EJC) is a central component of Seattle's racial equity work. The EJC centers community ownership in decision-making, environmental program/policy design, and Equity & Environment Agenda implementation. The EJC also plays a key role in strengthening community partnerships with City departments and better connecting community-based solutions into government. 

Environmental Justice Fund
This is a grant opportunity for community-led projects that improve environmental conditions, respond to impacts of climate change and get us closer to achieving environmental justice. Created in 2017, the Fund is overseen by the Environmental Justice Committee, people with deep community roots working closely with communities on environmental justice issues.