Racial Equity Impact Assessment

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Streetwyze led the Racial Equity Impact Assessment team in partnership with the City of Oakland, PolicyLink, Race Forward, Khepera Consulting, Mesu Strategies, and leaders of the Black Arts and Culture Business District, for the Downtown Specific Plan in Oakland, CA. A Racial Equity Impact Assessment (REIA) is a systematic examination of how different racial and ethnic groups will likely be affected by a proposed action or decision. REIAs are vital tool for preventing structural racism and for identifying new options to remedy long-standing and historic inequities between different racio-ethnic groups. Since Oakland is a fast growing racially, culturally, and LGBQTIA+ city, the plan aimed to use REIAs to minimize the unanticipated adverse consequence of gentrification and displacement, affordable housing, transportation, future growth—and create a balance of residential and office development downtown—while protecting cultural values, local character, and ensuring that vulnerable populations were co-producers of the Downtown Specific Plan. Our collective goal was to create an authentic sense of belonging that could be infused into the built environment so that all Oaklanders feel at home. Overall, Streetwyze was critical in expanding outreach to reach hard-to-reach populations, and ultimately building trust and two-way communications channels between the City and Oakland’s brilliant, bold, creative, innovative, dynamic, and diverse communities.

Key Findings/Stats:

  • Over 5,000 digital visions shared by community members on Streetwyze
  • Core issues for community members included: Affordable housing; protections for diverse artists and small business owners; support for vibrant Black, Latinx and Asian communities
  • Rigorous Racial Equity Impact Assessment of Downtown Specific Plan Options