NYC Commission Unveils Goals to Reduce Racial Disparities

New York City's Commission on Racial Equity releases 16 preliminary goals to reduce racial disparities across the city's five boroughs. The commission invites public feedback on the goals, which will be finalized in the fall and inform the city's first biennial racial equity plan.

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Nitish Verma
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NYC Commission Unveils Goals to Reduce Racial Disparities

NYC Commission Unveils Goals to Reduce Racial Disparities

New York City's Commission on Racial Equity has released 16 preliminary goals aimed at reducing racial disparities across the city's five boroughs. The goals span areas such as health, policing, and education, and include eliminating tuition for most CUNY colleges and transforming jails into rehabilitation centers.

Why this matters: The Commission's efforts to address racial disparities have far-reaching implications for creating a more equitable society, as it tackles systemic issues that affect not only New York City but also other urban centers across the country. By prioritizing racial equity, the city can set a precedent for other municipalities to follow, ultimately contributing to a more just and inclusive America.

Established in 2022 through a voter-backed initiative, the commission aims to prioritize racial equity for local lawmakers. The 11-member panel, appointed by the mayor, City Council speaker, comptroller, and public advocate, represents marginalized communities from all five boroughs.

Linda Tigani, appointed by Mayor Eric Adams to serve as chair and executive director, emphasized the importance of community engagement. "We see New Yorkers day in and day out organize and activate for change and hold their elected officials accountable," Tigani said. We're here to increase their voice. "We will be as strong as our partnerships with community."

The commission invites New Yorkers to provide feedback on the preliminary goals through its website, social media surveys, and in-person sessions over the summer. The list of goals will be finalized in the fall, followed by the release of the city's first biennial racial equity plan in November. The plan will outline strategies and metrics to promote racial equity and track progress, with updates every two years based on community priorities.

The city's racial equity planning process, however, has faced delays. The initial citywide equity plan was supposed to be drafted by January 16 and finalized by April 26. Sideya Sherman, commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Equity and Racial Justice, attributed the delays to the need for thoughtful engagement with the public.

The racial equity bureaucracy was established by former Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2021, following the national racial reckoning and protests after the murder of George Floyd. The commission's goals build upon two ballot proposals overwhelmingly backed by voters, including adding a preamble to the City Charter calling for a just and equitable city and creating a true cost of living metric to guide policymaking.

As the Commission on Racial Equity moves forward with its ambitious agenda, New Yorkers eagerly await the finalized goals and the implementation of strategies to address long-standing racial disparities. The commission's work represents a significant step towards creating a more equitable and inclusive city for all its residents.

Key Takeaways

  • New York City's Commission on Racial Equity releases 16 preliminary goals to reduce racial disparities.
  • Goals span health, policing, education, and more, including free CUNY tuition and jail reform.
  • Commission aims to prioritize racial equity for local lawmakers, setting a precedent for other cities.
  • New Yorkers can provide feedback on goals through website, social media, and in-person sessions.
  • Finalized goals and racial equity plan to be released in November, with biennial updates.