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PRO Regional Equity & Community Engagement Work Group - Accomplishments and Future Outlook

November 19, 2014

Summary of Accomplishments in 2014

PRO Regional Equity and Community Engagement (RECE) work group met 6 times in 2014 and was co-chaired by Commissioner Jim McDonough, Ramsey County, and Repa Mekha of Nexus Community Partners. The PRO RECE workgroup was formed and tasked with two main missions:

  1. Ensure opportunities for success, prosperity, and quality of life for all residents in the metropolitan region, especially low-income households and people of color
  2. Set high standards for meaningful community strategies to ensure meaningful participation in decision making for all individuals and communities

The RECE group has been working towards achieving these goals through the design of a racial equity toolbox that helps communicate the value of equity and also to help partner organizations interested in the advancing their work toward equity to share resources and best practices. The toolbox will consist of four key segments that help guide organizations towards understanding why and how equity has a impact on the region's residents, economic prosperity and quality of life.

One of those segments is to share partner stories. Currently, the RECE group has hired a writing consultant to help write stories on the Met Council, Metro Transit, and Ramsey County, highlighting the work each organization is undertaking toward being a more equitable place of employment as well as service provider. These stories are due to be presented either in December of 2014 at the last PRO meeting or in 2015, pending product finish.

The RECE group has also done its part to help partners around the PRO table better understand equity through consultation and engagement with the Shared Prosperity and Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) work groups.

Finally, RECE has brought community activists such as Vaughn Larry to the table to help members better understand how to work with the organizations and individuals that make up the surrounding communities.

More information on this work group is posted on the Regional Equity and Community Engagement page.

Future Outlook

There is much enthusiasm for the RECE group to continue the work around equity and community engagement in 2015 through a structure that focuses on specific issues of equity. Current co-chairs are willing to continue leading the group into 2015. The workgroup is meeting to discuss how the group will be staffed and marshaled as well as to find focused topics to work on in 2015.