Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan signed into law the recommendations of the Equitable Communities Initiative Task Force (ECITF) on Aug. 11—providing $30 million in investments to address long-standing inequities and disparities impacting communities of color. The ECITF directed the City’s largest-ever, self-determined effort to fund strategies that will help improve outcomes for the Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities.
“Seattle has reached another milestone, furthering our commitment to address generational wrongs that continue to harm our communities of color. Coming out of the painful time after the murder of George Floyd, these community leaders went to work, harnessing the collective power of community voice to deliver strategies that will improve lives,” said Durkan.
The recommendations created by the 26-member ECITF focused on four areas or “pillars”—businesses, which will receive $7.5 million; education, $7.5 million; housing, $8.8 million; and health, $6.2 million.
As part of her 2021 budget proposal, Durkan committed $100 million to address the deep disparities endured by BIPOC communities and caused by systemic racism and institutionalized oppression. Durkan launched the ECITF—a diverse group of people of color, community leaders representing a cross-section of industries including arts, business, health care, education, food, and environmental justice, and more—to spearhead the process of developing recommendations.
The Task Force had full autonomy to determine focus areas. ν