Prioritizing Racial Equity and Social Justice in New York State
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This issue of High Road Policy draws on the work of prominent racial equity scholars and activists to outline a framework for transforming New York State (NYS) government into an engine of racial equity and social justice. The three essential pillars of that framework include: (1) establishing a statewide office of racial equity and social justice; (2) empowering that office to oversee a deeply inclusive, participatory process that leads to a statewide vision and strategic action plan for racial equity and social justice; and (3) adopting equity tools, such as requirements for equity impact analysis (EIA), that facilitate the implementation of that vision. Two proposals that were introduced to the NYS Assembly in the 2019-20 legislative session contain many of the blueprints for building this infrastructure. This article introduces readers to those proposals, unpacks their essential provisions and how they connect to one another, identifies opportunities to modify the bills so they better reinforce one another, and illustrates how existing NYS environmental laws and regulations offer a clear precedent and model for moving both bills forward and radically transforming NYS government for racial equity and social justice.
Cornell University, ILR Buffalo Co-Lab
racial equity; social justice; public policy
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