Starting in 2016, the Metropolitan Council will have a new tool for advancing equity in the Twin Cities region. The Council established the new Equity Advisory Committee Oct. 14, following the recommendations of a working group and four partner coalitions advocating for more equitable outcomes for the people who live and work in the Twin Cities region.
“Establishing this committee is a top priority for this Council in its commitment to equity,” said Metropolitan Council Chair Adam Duininck. “I’m really proud of the collaborative way this committee has come together. We’re affirming our commitment to engage constituents as full partners in decision-making that affects them.”
The committee will advise the Council in advancing equity in the region, more specifically how the Council implements the equity commitments in Thrive MSP 2040. The committee will create an annual work plan reflecting both policy questions from the full Metropolitan Council and policy topics identified by the committee.
“This group will bring both policymakers and constituents together at the same table to discuss equity issues – a key goal raised by the community from our working group conversations,” said Council Member Steven Chávez, who chaired the Equity Working Group that initially recommended creating advisory committee.
“We will wrestle with real issues and find ourselves in uncomfortable places,” Chávez said. “But I believe leadership will not be authentic unless discomfort is experienced. Then the opportunity arises to achieve outcomes that may not otherwise have been considered.”
The committee will have 21 members, representing geographic districts to assure region-wide representation, as well as people from different races, incomes, abilities and backgrounds. It will include four sitting Council members. There will be two co-chairs—one Council member and one member of the community. Terms will be staggered so approximately half the members are up for reappointment every two years.
Four partner coalitions actively advocated for creating the committee – the Blue Line Coalition, Community Engagement Steering Committee, Equity in Place, and SWLRT Equity Commitments.
The Council will begin recruiting members for the committee in the coming weeks, and the committee will begin meeting in 2016.
For more information or to express interest, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.