Equity is key focus for Imagine 2050

Date: Friday, May 3, 2024
Imagine 2050 logoImagine 2050, the next regional development guide, will have a specific equity chapter that will detail how the regional equity goal sets the direction for Met Council work, and the vision for how our work will move consistently and clearly to achieve equity.
In the fall of 2023, the Met Council endorsed an Equity Framework to center equity both during the process of developing Imagine 2050 and in the policies included in it. The framework supports the endorsed equity goal for Imagine 2050: “Our region is equitable and inclusive. Racial inequities and injustices experienced by historically marginalized communities have been eliminated; and every person feels welcome, included, and empowered.” 

The Equity Framework has three main principles: It is contextualized (ensuring solutions are addressing a systemic inequity); community-centered (working with impacted populations to co-create solutions), and reparative (creating solutions that are commensurate with what caused the inequity).

Elevating community voices and experiences

Someone giving a thumbs up next to a bus. They are on a motorized scooter.Staff presented the draft framework to the Met Council in April. Council members noted the importance of elevating community voices and experiences to directly influence decision-making. 
Council Member Robert Lilligren noted how important it is to engage the people most impacted by the decisions the Met Council makes. “People know what they know. They know what they need. They know what they want,” he said. 

The Equity Framework also reflects an investment in community capacity for partnership.  “We are working toward a long-term relationship with communities,” said Council Member Toni Carter, “such that we’re valuing the input and perspectives communities bring…so that we’re investing in those individuals, those groups that come forward, who are truly looking to collaborate in ongoing relationship.”

Framework to include action commitments to land, water, and people

The framework will feature four specific elements: 
  • Environmental justice: The right for all residents to live in a clean, safe environment that contributes to a healthy quality of life. 
  • Community-centered engagement: Centers community voices in the work of the Met Council and ensures community voices guide our decision-making processes. 
  • Anti-displacement: An active process of centering and empowering communities to protect their home, access to resources, and sense of belonging from loss due to a Met Council investment or policy.    
  • Land, water, and people commitments: Several members of the American Indian community will serve on the Met Council’s first American Indian Advisory Council. They will establish a statement of commitment related to the land, water, and people of the region. This statement will contrast with what is sometimes called a land acknowledgment by adding specific commitments to action. 
The equity chapter is still being drafted, but a formal draft version will be released later this summer for feedback and public comment. Learn more and watch a presentation about the development of the Equity Framework. 

Posted In: Council News

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