California offers a variety of climate change grants that aim to both fight climate change and also create a variety of other benefits. These grant programs can improve air quality and community health, reduce consumers’ energy bills and create clean economy jobs. But far too often these programs fail to adequately reach the communities with the greatest needs, especially low-income communities of color. For that reason, Greenlining believes officials designing these climate change grants must make a conscious, thoughtful effort to embed social equity into all aspects of each program and grant-making process.
A comparison of CalEnviroScreen maps showing the most polluted and economically disadvantaged communities with maps showing communities of color illustrates the literally toxic effects of redlining and its aftermath. A concerted effort to embed social equity into climate change grants can help put large amounts of funding to work relieving these historical inequities and level the playing field for historically disadvantaged communities.
In this report, we provide a roadmap for embedding social equity into climate change grants, focusing on four key steps:
- The program’s Goals, Vision and Values should explicitly state the social equity goals of the grant program to help ensure these goals get prioritized.
- The program’s process should include working with partners who have social equity expertise and incorporate strategies for inclusive outreach and technical assistance.
- The implementation of climate change grants is critical. Staff must make sure that grant awardees have the resources and tools they need to get the greatest possible environmental and economic benefits and minimize unintended negative consequences. Programs should target community-identified needs.
- Finally, programs should analyze their impact, based on clearly defined social equity goals and criteria track success. This requires proactive planning to collect the date needed, so that administrators and officials can use the analysis to improve the program going forward and inform the design of future climate change grants.
The City of Oakland released its 2018-2020 Economic Development Strategy with a strong focus on entrepreneurship to build wealth in local communities of color. To support the strategy’s desired racial equity outcomes, The Greenlining Institute founded the Small Business Advisory Group, a roundtable comprised of local small business leaders committed to advancing the needs of Oakland’s entrepreneurs of color. Members include technical assistance providers, community lenders, ethnic chambers, and small business advocates.
With the goal of fostering a healthy and more inclusive small business ecosystem that allows entrepreneurs of color to thrive, the Small Business Advisory Group has developed a menu of recommendations designed to help the city of Oakland achieve the ambitious racial equity and small business goals included in its 2018-2020 Economic Development Strategy. We hope these recommendations will be useful for Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, city councilmembers, the Economic and Workforce Development Department, and Oakland’s local business community, and offer our partnership for implementation.
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The rapid development of self-driving, autonomous vehicle technology is leading the way to a transportation revolution with three major components: self-driving cars, shared mobility, and electrification. While much has been written about how the coming autonomous vehicle revolution may change transportation for the better, this report represents the first in-depth analysis of a wide range of mobility, health, and economic implications of these three interconnected revolutions for marginalized groups like people of color, the poor, the elderly, and those with disabilities.
Greenlining’s analysis finds that optimistic scenarios for this transportation revolution – including reduced traffic, cleaner air and less space wasted on parking – won’t come true without action by government to ensure that implementation of these technologies recognizes their broad impacts, especially the needs of marginalized groups. A transportation revolution that truly benefits all will need to center on FAVES: fleets of autonomous vehicles that are electric and shared, with rules designed to disincentivize personal autonomous vehicles and to promote affordability and access, along with fair labor practices in this new industry. Without such intervention, the autonomous vehicle revolution could lead us to transportation hell, with a growing mobility divide between haves and have-nots.
Supplier diversity helps direct corporate procurement to businesses owned by historically marginalized communities. This practice supports economic development and access to contracting opportunities for women, LGBT communities and communities of color, and is particularly important for entrepreneurs of color.
General Order 156 requires that utilities submit supplier diversity reports annually. Using these reports, we analyzed the 2017 supplier diversity of 18 utilities across the telecommunications (cable and telephone), energy, water and wireless industries. Overall, the percentage of procurement from diverse businesses remained virtually unchanged from outcomes reported last year in our Supplier Diversity Report Card. But a few stand-out companies achieved relatively high spending with diverse businesses.
Corporate boards of directors set policy, hire and fire CEOs, and have a huge influence on company behavior and culture. We examined the corporate board diversity of 59 companies with a major presence in key sectors of California’s economy and found that they consistently fail to reflect the state’s diverse labor force. Women and people of color were consistently underrepresented and in some cases missing completely. When board diversity so badly fails to align with the labor force, companies can more easily make mistakes that alienate groups of customers and miss chances to make their corporate environments welcoming to diverse employees.
For too long, transportation planning has focused on cars rather than people while neglecting communities of color and low-income neighborhoods. This framework offers planners and community advocates a step-by-step guide to a more community-centered transportation planning process that focuses on the mobility needs of communities and puts affected communities at the center of decision-making. It includes specific metrics to help evaluate mobility from an equity and community-centered perspective to help transportation planning focus on the needs of people, rather than car-centric infrastructure, as well as ideas for how to develop a people-based transportation planning process.
This framework lays out the differences between diversity, equity and inclusion, charts the evolution of diversity campaigns over the decades, and aims to help diversity advocates turn ideals into a concrete tool using the “Four Ws” – who, what, where and why. The Greenlining Institute intends to put together a working group to build on the Framework’s outline and create a toolkit that will help advocates push corporations and other major institutions toward diversity, equity and inclusion policies based on justice.
The Greenlining Institute and the National Community Reinvestment Coalition analyzed California home mortgage data and found that the numbers paint “a statistical portrait of gentrification.” The analysis, based on data collected by federal regulators for mortgages issued in 2015, shows a number of other concerning patterns, including continuing racial disparities and a startling rise in the role of non-bank lenders. Researchers reviewed statewide data as well as local statistics for Long Beach, Oakland and Fresno, and make recommendations for policy changes and further research.
Women of color are severely underrepresented among U.S. physicians and face serious barriers to entering medicine and succeeding in the field. The Greenlining Institute and the Artemis Medical Society conducted in-depth interviews with 20 women physicians from California and around the U.S. to better understand the challenges women of color face in trying to enter the medical field. These physicians described a lack of support from high school and college counselors and medical school faculty, as well as instances of discrimination and unequal treatment. The shortage of women of color among U.S. physicians means that millions of Americans of color lack access to culturally competent care from a provider with whom they feel comfortable.
California’s utility, telecommunications and water companies spent $6.38 billion on contracts with minority-owned businesses in 2016, but this generally strong performance remained uneven when one looks at individual companies. Pacific Gas and Electric proved to be an industry leader in diverse contracting, while Comcast’s performance remained subpar. For the first time, this year’s report includes figures for spending with LGBT-owned businesses, which totaled over $41 million.
To read the full-report, click here.
Company-Specific Report Cards
Cable and Telephone