In July 2019, Ordinance No 188-19 created the City’s Office of Racial Equity (ORE) in response to growing racial disparities in the City as a means to address the history of structural and institutional racism in San Francisco’s delivery of services to the public and its internal practices and systems. Creating ORE was the result of advocacy and organizing by Black City workers, labor leaders, and community members. With the establishment of ORE, San Francisco joins a national movement to address the government’s role in resolving the inequitable outcomes it created.
To implement Ordinance 188-19, ORE created a City’s Racial Equity Framework that directs City Departments to develop and implement mandated Racial Equity Action Plans. Departmental Plans are required to be submitted to ORE by December 31, 2020.
Phase I of the city’s Framework focuses on prioritizing systemic change and racial equity within San Francisco City government. The comprehensive framework, along with baseline departmental strategies, serves as a call to action: “Ultimately, all City agencies must build a culture, space, and workplace that is accessible and welcoming to all current and future employees, and to actively build an environment in which all people, regardless of background, identity, or ability, can be equal participants. In this way, our City employees, throughout departments and at all organizational levels, can reflect the communities we serve.”
The Ethics Commission considered an initial draft of a departmental Racial Equity Action Plan at its December 14, 2020 monthly meeting. The Plan addresses: 1) hiring and recruitment; 2) retention and promotion; 3) discipline and separation; 4) diverse and equitable leadership and management; 5) mobility and professional development; 6) organizational culture of inclusion and belonging; and 7) boards and commissions. Following the Commission’s unanimous adoption of a motion to endorse the creation and implementation of the department’s Plan, Staff finalized and submitted the Ethics Commission’s Racial Equity Action Plan to ORE on December 29,2020. The Commission anticipates that this Plan will be a living document that continues to expand and evolve to reflect the full breadth of its commitments, experiences, aspirations, and practices as a Commission and staff team.