Here is narrative regarding the work Offices Under the President has committed to beginning in 2019 as part of the Policy Roadmap: Five-Year Strategic Plan for Offices Under the President, released in November 2018.
Promoting equity, specifically racial equity, has been a central principle of Offices Under the President (OUP) under the leadership of President Preckwinkle. Historically, government has played a role in creating and maintaining racial inequities. Despite progress, racial inequities are still deep, structural and pervasive and racial anxiety is on the rise in our current political climate. At its core, our focus on racial equity centers around ensuring residents can enjoy the full array of recognized civil and human rights, and includes work to protect those rights regardless of immigration or documentation status. While governmental bodies need strong partnerships with non-profit, public and private sector stakeholders to address inequities, we have a unique responsibility to reduce inequity by ensuring policies and fiscal decisions consistently meet the needs of all residents, especially residents who are often marginalized and excluded from decision-making. We explored the importance of equity in improving outcomes for all Cook County residents by considering it in two central ways:
▶ As a foundational value, by pursuing institutional change in part through adopting a racial equity framework and conducting implicit bias training for our employees; and
▶ As a practice, by identifying strategies across the six policy priorities outlined in our five-year strategic plan that will advance equity across our operations and the services we provide in our communities.
Approaching our work through a racial equity lens will strengthen our institutional ability to apply a structural approach to other forms of marginalization. This framework will also help us address compounding inequities, such as the intersection of race and disability, the intersection of race and gender and the intersection of race and economic status.
As part of our commitment to advancing racial equity, OUP will begin its work by:
▶ Becoming a member of the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) to help build capacity, connect with peer organizations and receive support in advancing our equity work;
▶ Mandating implicit bias and diversity and inclusion training for all OUP employees to ensure shared definitions and understanding;
▶ Establishing a Racial Equity Leadership Council to plan and advance equity work internally; and
▶ Formally adopting a racial equity framework and a diversity and inclusion statement to elevate our commitment to and raise awareness about the importance of racial equity.