At the May Board of Directors meeting, Board Members heard a report on the activities of the Equity Ad Hoc Committee. The Equity Ad Hoc Committee is a subcommittee of the Board of Directors, established October 7, 2020. The Equity Ad Hoc committee is committed to leading the effort to work toward equity among its residents.
Staff is working on a two-pronged approach to address the issue of equity. SBCTA/SBCOG is looking both internally and regionally to identify and address issues of structural inequality within the purview of SBCTA/SBCOG. Regarding an internal approach, staff from multiple departments are working together to explore the following opportunities that allow for greater participation in the procurement process by smaller firms:
• Analyzing and potentially revising procurement and contract policies in an effort to increase accessibility by smaller firms.
• Potentially scoping out smaller projects and phasing projects where it makes sense.
• Expanding the SBCTA/SBCOG communication plan.
The regional approach is to complete a Regional Equity Study. SBCOG envisions the region-wide study as a starting point for identifying communities within jurisdictions that are affected by barriers to equity that exist within the built environment. By drilling down to the Census Tract Level and identifying disadvantaged communities demographically and geospatially, SBCOG can provide a tool to help our member agencies better understand the specific challenges faced by the specific disadvantaged communities. In understanding the challenges, this tool can help local jurisdictions develop options regarding policy intervention to address the challenges.
The Board acted to adopt a Regional Equity Resolution and move forward a Regional Equity Study.