DNRP Equity and Social Justice Program and Activities
Executive Dow Constantine and the King County Council have worked together to establish Ordinance 16948 which formalized the "Fair and Just" principle of the King County Strategic Plan. DNRP is an active ESJ participant, with a variety of programs and services that are reviewed for their distributional equity.
More and more, we are recognizing that our prosperity and quality of life depend upon the ability of everyone who lives, works and plays in King County to benefit. DNRP has an important role in advancing this work.
Here are several DNRP examples:
- Parks now considers geography when improving existing facilities or expanding its system, because the proximity to exercise and recreational opportunities is linked to community health. Recent examples include extensive improvements to parks in Skyway and White Center, increased support to the teen program in White Center, and continued regional support for the Lake-to-Sound Trail — a 16-mile-long trail that would link five cities and four regional trails in south King County.
- WTD has established a standing contract for phone-in translation services that give field personnel access to a variety of languages.
- SWD provides technical assistance and grants to incorporate green building practices into affordable housing projects, and the division is advancing policies to provide expanded recycling to residents of multi-family housing.
- WLRD worked with the King County Flood Control District and the DNRP Director's Office to produce emergency preparedness public service announcements in 24 languages.
- Human resources advertises employment announcements via social media to help attract and recruit at all generational levels. Hiring requirements have also been adjusted to eliminate potential barriers, such as a college degree or driver's license, when not necessary for the job.
Going forward, DNRP will focus on improvements to:
- Engaging a broad array of stakeholders,
- Examining the distribution of both benefits and burdens of service delivery, and
- Considering and adjusting our decisions and actions based on how they impact future generations.
Thank you for helping DNRP lead in equity and social justice in King County. If you have follow-up questions, please contact:
- Richard Gelb, DNRP ESJ lead
- Cristina Gonzalez, Parks ESJ lead
- Larry Jones, WLRD ESJ lead
- Rodney Proctor, SWD ESJ lead
- DNRP 2011 Equity and Social Justice Accomplishments Narrative summary - 64KB PDF
- Equity and Social Justice 2011 Work Plan Summary for DNRP - 92KB PDF
- King County Equity program
DNRP Equity Assessment Description
In support of the King County Equity and Social Justice Initiative, DNRP recently carried out an equity assessment for its major lines of business. The assessment utilized Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to map how selected services and facilities relate to basic demographic conditions.
This comparison helps identify and address the relative fairness in distribution of benefits and burdens across our service areas, with the goal of reducing racial or income-based inequity associated with facilities and programs.
Having this basic, screening-level understanding of how our service portfolio impacts residents of various demographic backgrounds provides a useful perspective for more detailed assessments, if needed. When considering capital improvements, outreach or planning decisions, these maps help assess the potential impacts of new actions as they relate to current service levels and spatial demographics.
Using GIS maps, DNRP has identified relationships between basic demographic characteristics and selected outcomes, including:
- The proximity of residents of various race and income levels to potentially undesirable facilities (e.g. transfer stations, pump stations);
- The proximity of residents of various race and income levels to desirable facilities (e.g. regional trails) or services; and
- The degree that residents of various race and income levels utilize services and/or are impacted by community conditions
ApproachDNRP's method for assessing the equity of facility and service distribution includes these steps:
- Map King County census block groups using six categories of race and income
- Plot selected DNRP facilities, service levels, and/or impact areas
- Create facility or program "catchment areas" by buffering appropriate distance from the facility or program location to include the affected areas
- Identify resident demographics in catchment areas
- Benefit assessment — Determine demographics of block groups living closer to selected desirable facilities or those receiving higher DNRP services levels
- Burden assessment — Determine demographics of block groups living closer to selected facilities or receiving lower levels of DNRP services
- Compare demographics of those in "catchment areas" with countywide averages
- Summarize and map the findings
- Identify if degree of disproportionality is significant enough to warrant a program response
Scope of Initial AssessmentThe following topics have been mapped or are proposed for mapping in early '08:
- Parks and Recreation Division—regional trail access, open space and park distribution.
- Wastewater Treatment Division—location of wastewater conveyance facilities and treatment plants.
- Solid Waste Division—locations of transfer stations, WasteMobile stops, Take-It-Back Network participants
- Water and Land Resources Division—locations of drainage complaints and technical assist visits
Below are maps and charts that help present the findings from this effort. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with follow-up questions on methods or results.