Advancing Equity

Overview

Advancing Equity

Article California Cities Helen Putnam Award for Excellence By Phil Pitchford

The Riverside Art Museum makes history with ‘The Cheech’

When the city of Riverside was looking for a way to reuse its historic library building, it turned to an unlikely ally: the comedian Cheech Marin. The tired structure was reborn in 2022 as “The Cheech,” a national cultural center for Chicano art.

Article By Brian Lee-Mounger Hendershot

Anti-Asian hate crimes are down, but people are still worried. And for good reason

It’s easy to think of anti-Asian hate as a red or purple state problem. But most incidents occur here in California. Even though anti-Asian hate decreased in 2022, experts are warning this could be an aberration. Here’s what cities can to do to mitigate the next wave of hate.

A girl in a motorized wheelchair works on a laptop.
Article California Cities Helen Putnam Award for Excellence By Mike Lee

Moreno Valley puts youth on the path to career success

Like many cities, Moreno Valley grapples with a low college completion rate. A new set of low-cost programs aims to change that. Nearly two-thirds of participants have experienced an improvement in their GPA. Most have secured full-time jobs in their fields and reported positive changes in their wages.

An artificially generated image of farmers picking vegetables.
Article President's Message By League of California Cities President Daniel Parra

Climate change impacts us all, but some more than others

A new report found that the existential effects of human-caused climate change are getting worse. The bright spot in all of this is that many cities in California are at the forefront of trying to address climate change. That’s why we must think locally but act statewide.

An artificially generated image of a man speaking a podium.
Article Special to Cal Cities By Liz Campos

Opinion: We cannot let hate campaigns upend remote public meetings

Cities throughout California, including Ventura, are dealing with an uptick in hate speech during remote public meetings. But just knowing that vile, hateful comments can happen does not fully ready you for a well-organized hate campaign.

A child biking alone on a protected bike bridge.
Article Features By Melissa Lee, CNU-A

Transportation networks are at a critical crossroads

Access to transportation in under-resourced communities — both in rural areas and large central cities — has reached a critical juncture. In these neighborhoods, transportation isn’t just a convenience, it’s a lifeline.

A group of commission members sitting at a long dais.
Article Features By Brian Lee-Mounger Hendershot

Oakland and Sacramento city attorneys: Civilian oversight is crucial to policing

More cities are using civilian oversight organizations to reform and oversee their police departments. But what these organizations can do varies from city to city. Western City sat down with city attorneys from Oakland and Sacramento to discuss their cities’ approaches to civilian oversight.

Group of professionals reviewing data
Article Solutions for Cities By Jasmine Nachtigall-Fournier

GovInvest’s Live Compensation Module paves the way for agile workforce strategies

Employers can no longer afford to be reactive when recruiting new employees. GovInvest’s new compensation module provides continuous insights in a digestible format that can keep your agency competitive and responsive.

Article Features By Teri Black, Maxine Gullo, Reina Schwartz, and Tony Winney

Investing in diversity may make you a better employer

Retirements, generational shifts, and changing attitudes about work-life balance have shifted employee loyalties and tenures. Many of us are wondering how to stop the churn and make our organizations places where people want to work for long stretches of their careers. One solution is to invest in diversity recruitment and retention.

Article Features By Doug Linkhart

Cities in California are making systemic changes to advance racial equity

In the U.S., public trust is tied not just to good governance and public outreach, but also historical issues of racism. To create change and increase trust, we need to change the structure of our systems.

Article President’s Message By League of California Cities President Ali Sajjad Taj

We must double down on our equity commitments during tougher fiscal times — especially those for unhoused residents

With the state foreshadowing some belt-tightening, things could get worse before they get better. Now more than ever, we need to keep fighting to ensure that the cities have the resources they need to help our most vulnerable residents.

Article Legal Notes By Robert Lennox, Simon Silva, and Glen Googins

So you have diversity: Now what?

Diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives often stall out due to a lack of personnel, resources, or formal policies. Diversity management is one way that leaders can champion these principles and make meaningful change.

Article News from the Institute for Local Government By Roberto Carlos Torres

State and federal funding are advancing environmental justice. Here’s what that means for cities

Federal and state governments are funding environmental justice programs at record levels. For some cities, this raises an important question: What is environmental justice? The answer may look different for each city, but the processes are often similar.

Article California Cities Helen Putnam Award for Excellence By Bill Grady

Enhancing public trust and inclusion in one of California’s most diverse communities

Once a nearly all-white community, Lakewood has become one of California’s most diverse cities. When the murder of George Floyd made national news in 2020, the resulting public outrage shook the bedroom community and led to calls for change. The resulting 10-point action plan and first year of implementation are major milestones for the city.

Article Features By Marlene Coss

Redwood City implements first citywide equity plan, articulating its commitment to equitable services and programs

Like many communities, Redwood City was caught off balance in 2020. The resulting two years of work underscore the long-term commitment needed to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.

Article Local Works By Karina Gonzalez

Mountain View breaks language barriers to create a community for all

Mountain View created the Spanish and Chinese Language Civic Leadership Academy programs as part of its commitment to diversity and inclusion. The eight-week programs improve participants’ understanding of local government and city services. Some graduates have even applied for boards and commissions or ran for city council.

Article President’s Message By League of California Cities President Cindy Silva

Cal Cities’ equity roadmap can help cities chart an equitable pandemic recovery

On any given day in any newspaper across the country, you’ll most likely find a story chronicling how communities of color have been hit hardest by the pandemic, and how economic recovery in these same communities is occurring at a much slower rate. The facts make it very clear that the pandemic accelerated and exacerbated many of the already-existing inequities in our communities around income, housing affordability, and homelessness.

Article Features By Eric Rosoff, Mike Despain, and Brian Lee-Mounger Hendershot

Diversity, equity, and inclusion in the fire service: Seven steps agencies can take

Firefighters are some of the nation’s most trusted professionals, even more than healthcare workers, first responders, and teachers. However, within the fire service ranks, the trust is more fragile when it comes to creating more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces. The very things that have made fire departments successful — a strong sense of brotherhood, an emphasis on measurable operational results, and a close living-working environment — are often the very things that make attempts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion inside fire stations uniquely challenging.

Article News from the Institute for the Local Government By Julia Salinas

Change happens at the speed of trust: Key lessons from ILG’s equity roundtable

The pandemic has brought equity to the forefront of many city programs and services. From updating recruitment practices and hiring equity officers to developing equity ordinances and reexamining public policies and programs, cities throughout California have made notable changes to their daily and long-term operations. 

Hayward sign
Article Local Works By Alexa López

Becoming your community’s ally: How the city of Hayward continues to move the equity needle by listening and learning

While Hayward had an anti-discrimination action plan in place since the 1990s, city officials realized five years ago that it was in dire need of updating. Hayward city leaders took immediate action to reassure the community that the city was in fact an ally.