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[Webinar] Public Utilities, Racial Equity, and Environmental Justice: Opportunities and Challenges

September 23, 2016 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT


Over the past 12 years, we have seen more and more local governments embed racial equity into departments, so that each department uses its own line of business to proactively advance racial equity.  Public utilities are one area where there has been groundbreaking work.This webinar will feature:

  • Michael Davis, Director of Environmental Justice and Service Equity at Seattle Public Utilities (SPU)
  • Steve Hamai, Strategic Advisor at Seattle Public Utilities (SPU)
  • Jessie Buendia, Community Benefits and Social Responsibility Manager at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SPFUC)

Register here.

More about the webinar:

This webinar is a great introduction to the vision and strategies of public utility systems that are leading national efforts to integrate racial equity and environmental justice into their operations.

Davis and Hamai, both from SPU, will share how racial equity is an integral part of SPU’s promise to customers, making sure all communities in Seattle can access and benefit from the utilities projects and services.  Davis and Hamai will also share the opportunities and challenges of implementing their strategic framework, which includes:
  • Embedding race and social justice and service equity policies and practices across the utilities;
  • Modeling and advocating for inclusive community engagement within the utility in partnership with communities;
  • Further aligning environmental justice and service equity within SPU, as well as city, county, and community efforts.
Davis and Humai will also highlight the infrastructure SPU has built so that racial equity, inclusion and diversity are strengthened and embedded throughout the utility.
Buendia from the SFPUC will share how its community benefits program is helping the SFPUC provide customers with high quality, efficient, and reliable water, power, and sewer services in a manner that is inclusive of environmental and community interests, and sustains the resources entrusted to our care.
The long-term goals of the community benefits program are:
  • Redefining the 21st century utility by lifting up SFPUC’s proactive leadership and innovation in community benefits and environmental justice at the regional, state, and national level;
  • Communities impacted by the SFPUC’s core operations and activities believe that the SFPUC is a “good neighbor” and reliable public partner in creating sustainable, healthy, thriving communities in San Francisco and the region;
  • The SFPUC is recognized as a good partner in the private, public, philanthropic, and nonprofit sectors for engaging in community benefits and environmental justice activities that expand economic opportunities and positive efforts in all the communities we serve and where we operate.

The SFPUC’s landmark community benefits and environmental justice policies have deepened SFPUC’s ability to influence racialized outcomes in a Post-209 environment by creating strategies that support anchor institutions and develop programs that use geography, socioeconomic status, and marketing and outreach to target communities of color. Read more about SFPUC’s community benefits program at www.sfwater.org/communitybenefits.

Register here.


September 23, 2016
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category: