Americas Community

LA County adopts countywide racial equity strategic plan

By Claire Morales True
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors (Board) has unanimously adopted a groundbreaking Countywide Racial Equity Strategic Plan with five strategic goals intended to measurably improve the lives of residents and communities throughout Los Angeles County (County).

The Board, acting on a motion by Supervisors Mitchell and Solis, declared its commitment to fostering meaningful and lasting change through the adoption of the Countywide Racial Equity Strategic Plan. Developed by the Chief Executive Office’s Anti-Racism, Diversity, and Inclusion (ARDI) Initiative, it outlines dozens of strategic goals and initiatives aimed to address structural racism. Co-created with residents, community-based organizations, civic leaders, philanthropic organizations, academic partners, and public/private agencies, the plan presents a 10-year roadmap to foster a more equitable and inclusive County where all residents are healthy, experience justice, and thrive.

The creation of the Countywide Racial Equity Strategic Plan was a directive of the Board when a motion was unanimously adopted on July 21, 2020 to establish an Anti-Racist County Policy Agenda, declaring racism a matter of public health in the County. Moreover, ARDI was established and is charged with developing the underlying policy platform, and implementing the plan in collaboration with department staff and leadership, according to a statement sent to Philippine News Today.

The County identified five strategic goals to be achieved through multiple initiatives over the next decade:

  1. Increase Attainment of Postsecondary Credentials with Significant Labor Market Value
  2. Reduce Adult First-Time Felony Convictions
  3. Increase Stable Full-Time Employment Among Individual Adults
  4. Increase the Percentage of Families with Incomes Above 250% Federal Poverty Level
  5. Reduce Infant Mortality

In addition to providing a new vision for achieving equity in Los Angeles County, the strategic plan outlines several historical factors that helped exacerbate racial disparities and inequity across the County. The plan reveals significant racial gaps in high school graduation, in year round full-time employment, and much larger gaps in college enrollment, college graduation, family incomes, and homeownership rates.

“With our first ever Racial Equity Strategic Plan, Los Angeles County has actionable steps for moving with clear direction and accountability towards achieving racial equity and justice,” said Second District Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell. “I want to thank Dr. Scorza for leading the creation of this historic plan and the Board of Supervisors for approving my motion to establish a shared commitment across all County departments in owning our piece in making this plan a reality. It is the only way we can do the hard and necessary work of addressing long-standing injustices and creating meaningful change that can be seen and felt in the lives of our residents.”

“As the elected governing body of Los Angeles County, we must take a strong stance against racism to send a message that we will neither comply with nor enable policies that exacerbate historic injustices,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, First District. “To that end, I am proud that we have a vehicle such as ARDI to espouse the values of anti-racism, diversity, and inclusion.”

“Los Angeles County is one of the most diverse counties in one of the most diverse countries in the world. That is our strength, but as long as racial gaps persist, we aren’t living up to our potential. This Countywide Racial Equity Strategic Plan deploys many of our best tools in our mission of creating a more just County for all of our communities,” said Chair of the Board of Supervisors Janice Hahn.

“Building a more equitable, just Los Angeles County requires intentional steps that lift up every one of our marginalized communities,” said Third District Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath. “I am proud to support the Racial Equity Strategic Plan and, importantly, to be part of realizing the change the plan envisions.”

“At its heart, this is about the County being introspective,” said Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “We need to consistently examine our practices so that our County departments can best serve some of the most challenged residents who live in disadvantaged communities—including rural areas. Adopting this plan will help ensure we are all rowing in the same direction and truly making a difference for some of our most vulnerable constituents.”

“With the adoption of the Countywide Racial Equity Strategic Plan, we are demonstrating that LA County values diversity, is inclusive, and advances equity so that all residents can thrive,” said Fesia Davenport, Chief Executive Officer of Los Angeles County. “This plan will add fuel to our collective drive to advance justice and create a brighter tomorrow.”

“The Countywide Racial Equity Strategic Plan represents a commitment and roadmap for change that over the next decade will aim to improve life outcomes for all of LA County’s residents,” said Dr. D’Artagnan Scorza, Executive Director of Racial Equity for Los Angeles County and the Anti-Racism, Diversity, and Inclusion (ARDI) Initiative. “The County is continuing to set an example of how government can be a force for good, ignite progress, and create a future where every resident’s potential knows no bounds.”

With the adoption of the Countywide Racial Equity Strategic Plan, Los Angeles County furthers its commitment to create a more equitable, more inclusive, and more just community for all its residents. By implementing the strategic goals outlined in the plan, LA County strives to uplift all communities, improve life outcomes, and reduce disparities and inequities throughout the County. Together, we can build a future where all residents are healthy, experience justice, and thrive.