Equity Strategic Action Plan
An Equity Strategic Action Plan (ESAP) is a comprehensive document that outlines an organization's efforts to identify and dismantle systemic barriers to fairness, inclusion, and access within its operations, policies, and practices. When used with fidelity, an ESAP is a living document that reflects growth as tasks are accomplished and goals are achieved.
Progress reports will be posted semiannually with an updated ESAP posted in the subsequent month.
New Brighton City Council adopted the Equity Framework below on September 14, 2021. The framework is foundational to our Equity Strategic Action Plan as it includes our City's commitments and principles.
The creation and implementation of the Equity Strategic Action Plan continues the work begun by the New Brighton Inclusive Community Task Force (PDF). This group of appointed citizens met regularly in 2018 to discuss how the City of New Brighton can be more inclusive and welcoming to all people. Recommendations from the Task Force (PDF) were presented to the City Council and adopted in 2019. While some of the Task Force's recommendations were enacted, our organization has learned there are no quick and easy solutions. We need to build capacity in order to effectively address issues of equity in our community.
The Inclusive Community Task Force also did not provide recommendations directly related to racial equity. The Equity Strategic Action Plan builds off the work started by the Task Force and more comprehensively addresses issues and recommendations that were first identified by the Task Force. Our organization has also learned that the demographic fabric of New Brighton has changed. This makes the creation, execution, and follow-up of the plan even more important and urgent.
According to U.S. Census data (PDF), Black/Indigenous/People of Color (BIPOC) residents make up 31.2% of New Brighton's population compared to 19.9% in 2010. Specific populations of residents have seen increases in population numbers over the same time period: the population of people in New Brighton that identify as Black or African American has increased by 98% from 2010, Hispanic or Latino resident numbers has increased by 65%, and residents identifying as having more than one race increased by 133%. Almost half (46.5%) of all residents under age 18 in New Brighton are BIPOC residents. This compares to 26.8% for BIPOC residents aged 18 and up. This highlights how our future population in New Brighton will continue to become increasingly diverse. The past and anticipated change in our overall demographics require us as an organization to review our practices, policies, and procedures to ensure our diversity, equity, and inclusion goals can be fully met.
At a societal level, we have seen how important it is for municipalities to intentionally address issues of equity, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide issues related to policing. Our Public Safety Department has been proactive in accomplishing its mission: "The New Brighton Department of Public Safety, in partnership with the community, is dedicated to protect, serve and educate. We value and promote respect for human dignity by ensuring a common goal of a safe community." We encourage all those interested to visit our Listen webpage, which was set up to provide transparency in our policing services and data. While we have not experienced significant problems related to policing, we recognize the need to be constantly improving and building trust in the communities we serve. This holds true for all of our municipal departments and the entirety of our organization.
We are committed to making New Brighton the preferred place to live, work and play for everyone. As an organization, the City of New Brighton understands that inequities exist in our community based on factors such as race, ethnicity, language, age, gender, sexual orientation, ability, and other differences. We know that the government has played a role in these systemic inequities. To succeed in our city's mission and vision, live up to our values and accomplish our goals, we commit to addressing these inequities through access, opportunity, and quality services so that outcomes do not vary based on the differences above. We commit to the following as we strive for equity:
- We welcome and value people of all characteristics, backgrounds, and experiences.
- We will cultivate and maintain a workforce which reflects the community and our commitment to diversity.
- We will create a community in which all people are connected to each other with a sense of shared purpose of achieving the city's mission, vision, and values.
- We will evaluate decisions with equity in mind.
The City of New Brighton commits to the long-term work of becoming culturally competent, welcoming and inclusive of all people both within and outside our organization, as well as in the range of issues and challenges that we engage in. This includes (but is not limited to):
- Supporting, engaging, serving and including people with different racial, ethnic, economic, age and religious backgrounds as well as those with varying physical abilities, gender identities and sexual orientations.
- Entering intercultural relationships with humility, prepared to listen, learn, and follow others' lead. Then, taking actionable steps to adapt our methods and practices for mutual benefit.
- Incorporating the Equity Strategic Action Plan into policies, practices, and procedures at an organizational level and for accountability purposes, measuring our progress on items within the Plan.
- Reaching beyond our traditional constituencies and familiar stakeholders.
- Recruiting, hiring, retaining, and developing a culturally competent staff whose demographics more closely mirror those of New Brighton.
- Recruiting, retaining, and developing culturally competent Commission members whose demographics more closely mirror those of New Brighton.
- Investing the required resources to ensure the successful execution and maintaining of the plan. Resources include, but are not limited to funding, personnel, time, and education and training.
The following principles must be front and center when executing our equity initiatives:
Use Disaggregated Data & Information
One of the drivers of disparity is the inability or unwillingness to examine the results of policies and activities for segmented racial, ethnic, cultural, or underrepresented groups. To achieve equity, therefore, we must collect and analyze quantitative and qualitative information in this way. Collect data segmented by census-based racial, ethnic and underrepresented categories and use that data to create options and make decisions.
Make Data-Driven Decisions
Another driver of disparity is the unwillingness to use segmented data to make decisions that ensure parity. Consider racial, ethnic and underrepresented information as we work. Compare results for each group against their presence in our service areas and against results of the other groups. Provide these analyses when making recommendations.
Leverage Existing Assets
We have valuable assets at our fingertips: knowledgeable staff, public officials, partners, community members, technical experts and professional services, intergovernmental agencies and more. Tap into these institutional resources at all phases of your work.
Use Existing Authority
Senior leaders, supervisors, other staff members, and public officials have individual powers within their jobs and roles. Explore and utilize these authorities as necessary to deliver on this Equity Plan.
Make Policy Changes
We have dozens of policies - those with an external focus and those with an internal focus. While delivering on this Equity Plan, uphold or strengthen policies that will deliver strong equity results. Be ready to change policies that create barriers.
Use Equity to Balance Decisions
When making decisions, give equity sufficient weight. Use segmented data, historical information, and quality comparisons. Develop a method for considering equity results balanced against financial and other business results, such as a decision matrix or balanced scorecard. This will ensure People of Color and underrepresented individuals and groups get due consideration, and that their interests are respected.