Assessing 'Equity' With Every Policy Decision Still Rare But Growing

April 25, 2018

Maryland’s largest jurisdiction is poised to create a new policy mandating that all its actions be weighed against how they might affect equity — racial and otherwise — among its roughly 1 million residents.

The Montgomery County Council voted unanimously Tuesday to develop the policy, which mirrors similar efforts underway in Seattle, Takoma Park and Fairfax County. This month, Baltimore City Council member Brandon M. Scott (D), who is running for lieutenant governor, proposed creating a racial equity program and a multimillion-dollar fund to assist efforts to attack institutional racism in that city.

Montgomery council vice president Nancy Navarro (D-Midcounty) — who sponsored the resolution along with council member Marc Elrich (D-At Large) — said the measure probably wouldn’t be in place until the fall of 2019, after elections this November that will bring a new county executive and at least four new council members.

“I think this is a really good time, as we are in the dawn of a total leadership shift in Montgomery County, to begin to put into place some structural components that I think would continue to help us reach our ultimate policy goals,” Navarro said.

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