Contact Information

Contact Information

Title

Racial Equity Strategic Planning Committee (RESPC)

Sections

Process Led by United Health Group Equity Innovation Lab

In January 2021, the Bloomington City Council declared racism to be a public health crisis affecting the well-being of its Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) residents. In doing so, the Council acknowledged that Bloomington has significant racial disparities in all aspects of community well-being, including health, education, employment, income, and housing. The Council also acknowledged that addressing this crisis requires us to expand beyond ongoing internal efforts to embed racial equity principles in our policies and practices and programs. 

“The City absolutely has a role to play, but we cannot address critical issues such as the racial income gap and lack of affordable housing, alone,” Racial Equity Coordinator Faith Jackson said “Solving these challenges truly requires cross-sector collaboration. We need to hear directly from our community members and partner with organizations that bring additional influence, capacity, and resources to birth innovative and creative solutions to the issues that have plagued our community for far too long.”

Summary of draft prototypes

PDF downloads

Economic Development

Areas of Focus: Employment, Food Insecurity, Poverty

Communication

  • Multiple Languages
  • Internet Access for all via computer hubs
  • Multiple Modes
  • Go to where the people are (e.g. their employers) don't expect people to come to us

Transportation

  • More and better public transportation
  • Partnership w/large businesses
  • Bike resources such as Nice Ride and better bike lanes

Bloomington City Resource Center

A physical space that:

  • Is staffed by volunteers and professionals with cultural awareness/education - potentially high school students who need service hours
  • Helps people connect and navigate resources that are online or in person
  • Resource center will provide day care
  • Staff are aware and motivated to help and provide the full services required

Examples of resources:

  • Application Proofreading
  • Practice Interviews
  • Job Boards and help finding a job
  • Financial Education
  • Home Buying Resources
  • Rent Assistance Programs

Small Business GROWTH

  • Incentives or Tax Breaks for BIPOC owned businesses
  • 98 + Lyndale Development Plan
    • Create small downtown city with retail, restaurants, housing, businesses that attracts all ages, especially young people 20’s-30’s) in a central location
  • Incentives or tax breaks for employers offering livable wages PTO and health benefits
    • Tiered incentives to reward higher wages and better benefits

Big Dream

  • Raise minimum wage /offer incentives for business that do
  • Sick & Safe leave

Education

Guiding Principles: Equity, Accountability, Measurements & Data

Big Dreams

  • House executive offices for the City and the school district in one location
  • City- set minimum (liveable) wage
  • Rezone school lines boundary

Communication

  • Increase communication between School District leadership/staff and City of Bloomington leadership/staff
  • Bring both racial equity plan from City and district into alignment so that they support each other
  • Exchange data to increase awareness of equity gaps (inequities and disparities)
  • Ensure all Bloomington languages are represented in all communication
  • Have an open forum for new ideas

Supporting Students and families

  • More city bussing, especially for after-school
  • Provide more jobs for students that will lead to opportunities for professional growth
  • City center economic resource center for those that need it - help create a hub
  • Homeless shelter in Bloomington with resources for students.

Supporting School Staff

  • Mentorship for teachers and administrators of color
  • Fund and provide equity training for all School Staff
  • City Council and School board meet regularly to discuss gaps and ways to support each other Incentives to hire teachers of Color and retain them
  • More city bussing especially for after-school Supports
  • Provide more jobs for students that and families lead to opportunities for professional growth
  • Create a City Center or Economic Recourse center for those who need it (focus on developing business resource hub)
  • City puts parameters around achievement gap and opportunity gaps

Neighborhood and Built Environment

Housing Gaps

  • Renter protections
  • Home ownership among BIPOC residents
  • Residents knowledge of rights and resources
  • Deeply affordable housing (below 50% AMI)

Housing Prototypes

  • Collaborations with banks mortgage providers, and realtors to direct first time buyers to resources, programs, education modules, etc.
  • Pass a slate of strong renter protection ordinances Examples:
    • source of income nondiscrimination
    • tenant screening units (evictions, credit score, criminal history)
    • just cause nonrenewal
    • tenant opportunity to purchase
    • accessible housing ordinance for new developments
  • Forgivable homebuyer loans for underrepresented communities (ex. living in city for "x" number of years)
  • Adopt equitable development scorecard
  • Work with Bloomington Education Advisory Council to develop programming for aspiring homeownersExamples
    • Navigating the buying proces
    • Home repair education
  • Repeal crime-free housing ordinance

Food Access GAPS

  • Food Access + deserts
  • Access to medically necessary and/or Culturally specific foods
  • food sovereignty

Food Access Prototypes

  • City-supported cultural food programs for food pantries
  • Grants for community gardens
  • Lift city restrictions limiting gardens
  • Mobile food banks
  • More frequent fresh markets
  • Partner with Public Health for medically-necessary food boxes/access/delivery
  • Programming for home gardens + livestock

Environment GAPS

  • equitable transportation
  • biodiversity
  • equitable access + inclusivity to natural resources
  • multi-cultural communities (from cultural genocide/colonialism of Indigenous peoples)

Environment Prototypes

  • Partner with rideshare companies to provide rides to meet various groups
  • Partnership with three rivers on programming
  • Incorporate parks master plan-and make accessible
  • Build a universally-accessible playground intergenerational equity
  • Equity audit of city policies related to neighborhood and built environment
  • conduct assessments mirroring Canadian schools' current investigations of their history in cultural genocide
  • Community displays valuing/recognizing native lands and peoples (ex: city hall window display, community parade)
  • Devote community spaces to values in DEI (ex: bench plaque, sculpture, library building, park)

Healthcare

Areas of Focus: Food, Access to Healthcare, Health Disparities, and youth

Policies

  • Defend Market Bucks
  • Paid Sick & Safe Leave
  • Minimum Wage
  • Free School Lunch

Funding/Resources

  • Advisory Board of Health
  • City Staff
  • School District
  • SHIP
  • New Public Health Building

Big Ideas

  • Families shouldn't have to choose between money
  • Funded Community Wellness Center
  • Free school lunch

Community Programs

  • Data sharing infrastructure
  • Community Health Workers- aging, maternal/infant, BIPOC, immigrant, refugee
  • Doula training + workforce
    • development to provide culturally competent care to address Maternal/infant health disparities
  • ​​​​​​​Community food access needs
    • production, distribution, retail through racial equity lens

Social and Community Context

Alternatives to prison sentencing

  • Mental health hospital
  • Community correction center

Alternatives to contacting police

  • Neighborhood watch
  • Trust your community
  • Social workers to respond to mental health calls

Youth Programs

  • Support OEE/Leadership Program (create safe spaces for youth!)
  • Support/create big brother/big sister programs
  • Create youth counseling opportunities

Anti-Poverty Initiatives

  • More job opportunities
  • More/better health insurance
  • Accessible transportation options
  • Supportive housing programs

Changing Policing

  • Police and social worker partnership (social workers respond to mental health calls)
  • Racial bias training
  • Mental health training
  • More de-escalation methods
  • Increased communications/ transparency and information sharing
  • Education and Awareness- (history of police/community relationships)