2 minute read

Keeping Equity In Focus

CCM continues its commitment to equity in our towns and cities

It is fast approaching a year since the first CCM CARES town halls were announced to begin the crucial conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion in our towns and cities. CCM is committed to continuing those conversations and the work that follows with key partnerships and workshops.

One exciting partnership that we are happy to continue is with the National League of Cities (NLC) Race, Equity and Leadership (REAL) Initiative. Many will remember the key role they played in our national CCM CARES panel this past December.

In June, CCM along with the other northeastern state municipal leagues, invited NLC to give their REAL 101 training to hundreds of staff in the region called “Normalizing Racial Equity in Local Government.”

The goals and objectives of this training were to “understand the foundations for normalizing racial equity in governing,” as well as “explore opportunities to take action to advance racial equity.”

Building on that knowledge, in a condensed version of their 201 and 301 level course, NLC REAL discussed the very real action items that local leaders can be taking now. In their framework, this is moving from normalizing to organizing to operationalizing, with the goal of promoting real progress on racial equity in communities across Connecticut.

After this, attendees from the first two webinars were invited to a smaller, more focused town hall discussion where local leaders talked about local challenges and their solutions.

For those that could not make these workshops, CCM’s Board Inclusion Committee has authorized a “guided process” over the next six months to help municipalities implement seven action items from the CCM Racial Equity Toolkit that was distributed earlier this year.

This will be a well-rounded process that includes training sessions, peer roundtables, individual technical assistance, resource lists and recognition of progress/achievements.

Municipalities will be guided through these action items:

• Issuing a proclamation or resolution outlining a statement of racial equity goals and strategies

• Building organizational capacity to guide municipal racial equity efforts

• Employing a simple set of questions to view budget, policy, and service delivery decisions through a racial equity lens

• Developing formal community partnerships with under-represented residents

• Presenting annual reports to the Municipal Governing Body on Racial Equity, including composition of boards and commissions, composition of municipal workforce, and other key metrics or indicators of progress.

• Establishing policies and practices related to procurement and contracting that provide more access and opportunity to minority contractors.

• Adopting a municipal racial equity policy and plan/strategy to address a specific racial equity goal for your community with clear actions, timelines and responsibilities.

The most important thing is to keep addressing the issue of diversity, equity and inclusion in our state. From REAL workshops last year, we learned that race is still the number one predictor of success in America. Until it is not, we are committed to working together to make sure that every resident can access the benefits and opportunities to enable them to make a good life for themselves and their families.