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ECI Task Force Investment Recommendations

Presented by: Equitable Communities Initiative Task Force, June 3, 2021

Click to view the PDF of the ECI Task Force Investment Recommendations Presentation

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Why now?

The City of Seattle recognizes that systemic racism through the investments and policies by government and the private sector have caused generational harm and resulted in disinvestments in Black, Indigenous, and communities of color (BIPOC). The disparities have been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis.

The City of Seattle, through multiple departments including the Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD), launched the Equitable Development Monitoring Program (EDMP) to measure and accelerate Seattle's progress toward becoming a more equitable city. 

Read the whole background

Agendas and Documents

2021 Meeting Agendas, Notes, and Presentation

Task Force Recommendations

Meeting 6: January 8, 2021
Meeting 6 Agenda + Minutes
Meeting 6 Presentation Material

Meeting 7: January 15, 2021
Meeting 7 Agenda + Minutes
Meeting 7 Presentation Material

Meeting 8: January 22, 2021
Meeting 8 Agenda + Minutes

Meeting 9: January 29, 2021
Meeting 9 Agenda + Minutes

Meeting 10: February 5, 2021
Meeting 10 Agenda + Minutes

Meeting 11: February 12, 2021
Meeting 11 Agenda + Minutes

Meeting 12: February 19, 2021
Meeting 12 Agenda + Minutes

Meeting 13: February 26, 2021
Meeting 13 Agenda + Meeting
Recommendation Framework

Meeting 14: March 5, 2021
Meeting 14 Agenda + Minutes

Meeting 15: March 12, 2021
Meeting 15 Agenda + Minutes

Meeting 16: March 19, 2021
Meeting 16 Agenda + Minutes

Meeting 17: March 26, 2021
Meeting 17 Agenda + Minutes

Meeting 18: April 2, 2021
Meeting 18 Agenda + Minutes

Meeting 19: April 9, 2021
Meeting 19 Agenda + Minutes

Meeting 20: April 16, 2021
Meeting 20 Agenda + Minutes

Meeting 21: April 23, 2021
Meeting 21 Agenda + Minutes

Meeting 22: April 30, 2021
Meeting 22 Agenda + Minutes

Meeting 23: May 7, 2021
Meeting 23 Agenda + Minutes

2020 Meeting Agendas, Notes, and Presentation

Meeting 1: October 21, 2020
Meeting 1 Agenda
Meeting 1 Presentation Material

Meeting 2: November 5, 2020
Meeting 2 Agenda + Minutes 
Meeting 2 Presentation Material

Meeting 3: November 20, 2020
Meeting 3 Agenda + Minutes
Meeting 3 Budget Overview

Meeting 4: December 4, 2020
Meeting 4 Agenda + Minutes
(No presentation materials)

Meeting 5: December 18, 2020
Meeting 5 Agenda + Minutes
Meeting 5 Presentation Material

Focus Areas

Building Opportunity Through Small Business Support 

Seattle's BIPOC Communities have encountered obstacles to launching and growing small businesses for some time and the lack of generational wealth and the disparities laid bare and enhanced by COVID-19 have exacerbated the problem. BIPOC entrepreneurs have been denied access to capital, resulting in undercapitalized new and growing ventures. Debt capital is often unattainable for many BIPOC borrowers due to conventional markers of creditworthiness that disproportionally exclude diverse small businesses. These contributing factors paint a landscape of lower business startup and survival rates, lower financial stability and a repetitive cycle of limited intergenerational wealth.  

Accessing Affordable Housing, Land Acquisition and Generational Wealth  

Through intentional policy, practices and investments by government and private sector, including, but not limited to, housing discrimination and redlining, the BIPOC community have lacked access to community wealth. Gentrification and displacement further eroded family's abilities to build wealth. Traditional lenders criteria prohibit many of these groups from getting lending to purchase homes in the Seattle market. Lack of access to the essential resources and services that help to build generational wealth have perpetuated the disparity. In addition relationships with banks and other mortgage lending groups have historically taken advantage of communities of color furthering distrust within the BIPOC community.

Developing Diverse and Culturally Competent Educators and Education Opportunities 

It's been well proven that racial disparities exist in almost every key indicator of child, family, and community well-being. The resulting impact is that, youth of color - particularly low-income, immigrants, refugees, and English Language Learners - face significant barriers within the academic environment that may result in many entering adulthood unprepared for college or professional life, and perpetuating a cycle of poverty that can all too often result in cycling through the criminal justice system. The racial/ethnic disparities between teachers and student may lead to differences in on-time graduation and drop-out rates among different student demographics. Access to culturally competent academic support is critical not only for student achievement in the classroom, but in life as well.  

Increasing Positive Health Outcomes 

Systemic racism in America has shaped and exacerbated the economic disparities that underlie different access to care, lack of adequate health insurance and other barriers. That structural racism created an unsafe culture that has limited the number of BIPOC, specifically Black and Indigenous, health practitioners. Seeking healthcare can be a stressful endeavor for any group, but for Black and Indigenous people, there is the added stress of a history of mistreatment by the medical community that has fostered mistrust of the healthcare system by the BIPOC community. This impact of long-enduring abuse and inequity exists today as a barrier to treatment. Healthcare, especially socioemotional care, is deeply tied to culture. The US was built on the lie of white supremacy which means that our institutions view issues through a white lens. This has created systems that are not designed with the health of the BIPOC community in mind. 

Who's making the decisions?

Task force members will all be connected to the BIPOC community and have diverse backgrounds and experiences, bringing to the table their expertise and lived experience to address the deep disparities in our systems: economic development, education, environmental justice, lands acquisition, health care, youth services and social services.

The task force, centered on community input, will also determine the research, data, and technical advice they need in each of those areas to focus on how to accomplish desired and measurable outcomes in each area. The task force recommendations focus on, but are not limited to:

  • Capacity building to support future investments in community-based organizations
  • Expanding current proven programs that could be scaled to serve more in the community
  • Refocusing current City investments to better serve the BIPOC communities
  • Creating new programs or investments that could be quickly implemented (i.e. COVID-19 response programs like grocery vouchers or Small Business Stabilization Fund)
  • Developing long-term new programs or pilots to address a specific need (the next Equitable Development Initiative or Seattle Preschool Program or Participatory Budgeting)

View the task force members

Digital Equity Initiative

Seattle is working together for digital equity, to ensure all residents and neighborhoods have the information technology needed for access to essential services.