In January 2018, the Coastal Commission joined the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE)’s Capitol Cohort. During the first year, the Commission’s racial equity team gained 50 hours of GARE training and drafted a draft Racial Equity Action plan, to focus on the agency’s internal processes related to recruitment, hiring, retention, and promotion. The Commission’s racial equity team also developed an Environmental Justice Policy, which was adopted by the Commission in March 2019. The Environmental Justice Policy is agency’s leading effort of a larger framework to embed equity principles throughout the agency. The policy will provide both the public and the Commission with a road map for how the agency will conduct the public’s business, make public decisions, and ensure equitable procedural access for all. During the Commission’s participation in GARE Capitol Cohort Year 2, the team will focus on further refining its racial equity action plan and integrating it into the agency’s five-year strategic plan. Additionally, the team will focus on implementing its environmental justice policy.
Noaki Schwartz is the spokesperson for the California Coastal Commission. She is the team co-lead on the agency’s GARE work and managed the team that developed the agency’s environmental justice policy.
Sumi Selvaraj is a coastal program analyst at the Coastal Commission. She is team co-lead on the agency’s GARE initiative and is a leading member on the effort to integrate environmental justice into the agency’s coastal development planning and permitting work.