Philadelphia Commits to Annual Racial Equity Action Planning and Budgeting

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PHILADELPHIA, PA — Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signed Executive Order 6-23 on Monday, deepening the City’s commitment to racial equity. The order commits Philadelphia to annual racial equity action planning, budgeting for racial equity, and public reporting. It also ensures that staff and resources are designated to support these efforts.

The new order builds upon Executive Order No. 1-20, signed by Mayor Kenney in January 2020, which established a Citywide Racial Equity Strategy and required all departments to create initial Racial Equity Action Plans by the end of 2023.

Executive Order 6-23 outlines the next phase of the City’s Racial Equity Strategy and includes four key elements:

  • Committing to annual racial equity action planning and budgeting for racial equity
  • Formally establishing the City’s Racial Equity Community of Practice
  • Creating department-specific and citywide racial equity performance measures
  • Empowering all City departments to designate a Racial Equity Manager

“During my administration, we have focused on embedding racial equity into all aspects of City government including our programs and services, our employees, and our annual budget,” said Mayor Kenney. “With this Executive Order, departments will continue to create new strategies annually, invest resources in those strategies through the budget process, and report publicly about their progress.”

Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Josie B. H. Pickens echoed Kenney’s sentiments, stating, “This Executive Order signals that racial equity is not a one-time effort for us. We are committed to racial equity every day and for as long as it takes to close race-based disparities in our city.”

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Director of Racial Equity Policy & Practice Télyse Masaoay added, “With this Executive Order, we are not just making a statement; we are allocating new resources and making racial equity every department’s responsibility. This initiative embodies our commitment to tangible action, so that we actively work towards a more just and equitable future for all.”

Under the new order, all City departments will review and update their Racial Equity Action Plans annually. The order also formalizes the Budgeting for Racial Equity initiative as a regular part of the City’s budget planning process.

Furthermore, the order establishes a Racial Equity Community of Practice within the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, offering professional development and training on racial equity.

By July 2024, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will create a plan to track the city’s racial equity progress through performance measures at the city-level and department-level.

Lastly, the Executive Order directs all City departments to designate a Racial Equity Manager to guide their Racial Equity Action Planning, implementation, and budgeting.

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