Equity and Social Justice
OESJ COVID7 Supplemental Budget
The King County Council recently passed Executive Constantine’s COVID-7 emergency supplemental budget, which included many community funding opportunities. We want to express our gratitude to many of you for participating in this important process by submitting feedback to the Executive and the King County Council.
King County continues to hear from Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color communities (BIPOC) on the need for the county to engage more in meaningful power-sharing, accountability, and co-creation of systemic changes that result in equitable outcomes for BIPOC communities, and holding institutions, including the county, accountable to those changes. We recognize the need and urgency for more direct investments for BIPOC communities to improve economic opportunity and wellbeing. The processes described below are reflective of community feedback for us to be more bold, creative, and to respond with greater urgency and clarity to address the crisis of racism.
Information on the $25 million fund for the pandemic-related economic recovery of BIPOC communities
We are gearing up for the next phase of work to address Racism as a Public Health Crisis (RPHC):
- The Office of Equity and Social Justice is working diligently to establish the Racism as a Public Health Crisis Community Oversight Committee (the Committee).
- One of the primary roles of the Committee will be to equitably direct the use of the $25 million fund approved for pandemic-related economic recovery of BIPOC communities.
- The Community Oversight Committee will be responsible for establishing and leading the decision-making processes for the fund.
- The Committee will focus on community priorities and advancing economic justice for BIPOC residents of King County.
- More information on the Community Oversight Committee and the approach will be forth coming.
In the coming months, the Committee will engage with community partners to develop the governance structure and will listen and adapt to community feedback. That feedback will be used to inform the approaches to be used by the Committee, which is anticipated to be established late this summer.
There will be many opportunities for community input around the establishment of the Oversight Committee and the allocation of funds. We invite you to begin providing input now on the equitable allocation of funds using the form below.
If you are interested in providing input on the equitable allocation of the fund for economic recovery of BIPOC communities, or want to receive periodic updates, please fill out this form.
Information on the additional OESJ COVID-7 Funding for Direct Investments in Communities
The Office of Equity and Social Justice (OESJ) is working closely with the Budget Office to develop a timeline and process for phased grantmaking and contracting opportunities for direct investments in communities for the funding allocated through the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (CLFR), a part of the American Rescue Plan. We anticipate the first phase of funding and contracting opportunities being available to community late this summer. Our goal is to align grantmaking with communities’ priorities for an equitable recovery and strategically positioning these resources to meet the urgent needs of our communities now.
Since our grantmaking dollars are from CLFR, they come with numerous federal compliance requirements. We want to minimize the potential impacts of those requirements on applicants and be able to effectively support them through the grantmaking process. Therefore, we are ramping up our technical assistance and capacity-building resources. Please visit this webpage for more details about technical assistance and application process as they become available.
We understand the urgency for funding and are working to co-create a process and outcomes that are community-led, authentic, accountable, and transparent. Again, we want to express gratitude to many of you for participating in this important process by submitting feedback now through these forms, and throughout the budgeting process. We appreciate your continued advocacy and collaboration and we look forward to following up with you when more information becomes available on how to access these funds.
This page will be updated regularly to reflect progress and current appropriations and expenditures.
Grants Available for Organizations Serving Afghan Refugees
As part of King County’s commitment to aid Afghan refugees resettling in King County, Executive Dow Constantine allocated $500,000 to organizations and community partners providing resettlement services, language access and translations services. Mini-grants are available to help organizations build their capacity and ease constraints, so our community partners can do what they do best. The County is accepting grant applications now, and more information is available at dchsblog.com.
Progress on our Equity and Social Justice Strategic Plan
King County has just launched a new public reporting platform for our Equity and Social Justice Strategic Plan to help us monitor, track and share how well we are doing to advance equity and social justice in our community. Combining stories with data, the goal is to give our communities, employees and the public at large an open, honest and robust view of actions we are taking to achieve important outcomes in equity and social justice. Read more about the progress of our ESJ Strategic Plan.
Consistent with our vision for Equity and Social Justice, King County is working to build an inclusive community that values the needs, priorities and contributions of immigrant and refugee residents. In August 2015, King County joined over 60 local governments around the nation to become a Welcoming Community and in 2017 King County has commitment funding to this work within the County and with community organizations. Learn more about our commitment.
King County is Leading with Racial Justice
King County is prioritizing racial justice as part of our government work overall and implementation of our Equity and Social Justice (ESJ) Strategic Plan. We are intentionally leading with racial justice to confront the historical and racial inequities that continue to exist in our community and our organization. These racial inequities affect all of us and our ability to live well and thrive. Learn more about our commitment to racial justice.