Community Engagement & Co-Creation
Office of Equity and Social Justice
“Intentional and meaningful community engagement and co-creation are foundational to being pro-equity.”
Our Key Investments
The Office of Equity and Social Justice is investing in enhancing the County’s approach to partnerships with communities. We value improving trust, and want to ensure fair and accessible community-led engagement. Working with the community helps us heal from and repair institutional harm.
Community Engagement Compensation Fund
Co-creation, community engagement, and community compensation are not new to King County. But, not all departments take the same approach to connecting with residents. These inconsistencies affect our most vulnerable and marginalized communities.
The fund will help pay residents and organizations for their time, experience, and expertise working with King County through advisory groups. We will focus on promoting participation from communities most harmed by the system of oppression and racism.
Cultural Community Liaisons
Community Engagement & Co-Creation Leads will help steward ideas and solutions from community partnerships. They will share two-way information and insights as dependable allies. This bridge model creates trust and credibility between residents and King County.
Proactive communication, education, and partnership is key to creating anti-racist and pro-equity practices. This program builds on the insights and success of the Community Navigators, which support the County’s COVID-19 response.
Cross-Functional Community Engagement Teams
The new Community Engagers Teams (CET) will plan co-creation activities alongside our partners. They work on implementing the County’s policies and plan to become a more anti-racist government.
The team will build on the efforts of our COVID-19 response to develop a plan for strategic community engagement. The program focuses on breaking down barriers that lead to residents' fatigue and a lack of participation.
The Engagers will work as a cross-agency team to manage a central platform for tracking and coordinating activities. Also, the team will work with the County’s Customer Experience to understand the impact of policy decisions on the community.
What We're Working On
Community Compensation Project
King County is working to become an anti-racist and pro-equity government. Our teams look to community engagement and co-creation to reach those most affected by inequality. Co-creating with the community is a vital part of sharing power, one of our four pro-equity actions.
The Office of Equity and Social Justice partnered with Root Cause Equity Consulting from Austin, Texas. We seek to understand our current practices for compensating community members who take part in advisory roles. This will help us set up consistent standards across our government.
The project will identify best practices. We will connect with department leaders, community engagers, and residents. We will produce a study, framework, and guide to put in place these approaches County-wide.
We are pursuing King County’s vision to create a just society where all people have equitable opportunities to thrive! OESJ established an Equity Cabinet to partner with and advise the County to ensure policies, practices, and outcomes align with its intentions to lead with social and racial equity and justice.
The Equity Cabinet of 12-15 members will invest in partnerships that can inform and influence the County’s decision-making. King County’s Open Space Equity Cabinet and Metro Mobility Equity Cabinet have been established at the department level and inspire our County-wide model.