Race & Equity

An evolving effort to comprehensively address systemic racism and bias in Palo Alto.

With a goal of engaging the community on various elements related to race and equity, the City’s Race & Equity framework and action plan is an evolving comprehensive effort underway to address systemic racism and bias in Palo Alto. The efforts range from an immediate comparison of police policies against "8CantWait” principles, leading to a deeper review of police transparency and accountability, and evaluating police data and public safety models, to launching a Black Lives Matter mural on Hamilton Avenue.

This dedicated webpage provides ways you can stay up to date on the progress, provide input and learn more, including sharing events and learning sessions as they are developed.

Background

In early June, the City Council adopted a Resolution affirming that Black lives matter and committed to address systemic racism and bias, and honored the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and others that have fallen victim to violence at the hands of authorities. These events served as catalysts for leaders at every level of government to see the need for action to confront systemic racism and bias. A week later, the City Council approved their Race & Equity Framework and action plan. They also approved a series of actions including reviewing policing practices, making changes to use-of-force policies to reduce the potential for violence, and engaging the community in ongoing, thoughtful dialogue and leadership.

The City Council approved their Race & Equity Framework and action plan. They also approved a series of actions including reviewing policing practices, making changes to use-of-force policies to reduce the potential for violence, and engaging the community in ongoing, thoughtful dialogue and leadership.

Council Focus Areas

  • Direct the Human Relations Commission and two City Council Members to lead the “8 Can’t Wait” campaign and to produce a report on the black and brown history and current community in Palo Alto within sixty (60) days
  • Expand community engagement, to include private and public forums, within thirty (30) days
  • Start council ad-hoc committees with monthly reports on: police hiring, data analysis, practices and policies, transparency, and accountability
  • Direct the public art commission to explore public art honoring diversity and work with our community to paint “black lives matter” or a similar message near city hall, as soon as possible
  • Direct staff to evaluate which current police functions may be served by other public safety models
  • Begin a Diversity and Inclusion initiative throughout the City.


Since that time, Mayor Fine announced four Council Ad Hoc committees to add Council leadership to these specific focus areas and help guide the work underway.

Share Input

To share input or feedback on this process, connect with us on social media or email us at RaceandEquity@cityofpaloalto.org.

Helpful Links