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Advancing Equity 

The League of California Cities doesn't just advocate for the common interest of cities. It also helps city officials lead on challenging issues their communities face by providing education and resources that focus on promising strategies and new solutions. In June 2020, the Cal Cities Board of Directors issued a statement committing to the creation of an equitable and just future for all Californians. Cal Cities is dedicated to supporting its members by connecting them to resources and educational opportunities that strengthen their knowledge and capacity to eliminate racial disparities, heal racial divisions, and build more equitable communities. Below, is a list of foundational resources, which will grow as we deepen our knowledge and breadth in this space. 


Advancing Equity Highlight

Cal Cities launches Advancing Equity Advisory Committee  

“Cities are making concerted efforts to address inequities in their communities, and I am honored to be spearheading this initiative to ensure cities have the right tools to be successful. The committee’s goal is to identify how cities can recognize and eliminate disparities, heal racial divisions, and build more equitable communities.” President Cheryl Viegas Walker. Read more > 
  • NLC REAL: The National League of Cities (NLC) Race, Equity, and Leadership (REAL) program was established in the wake of the 2014 unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, to strengthen the capacity to build more equitable communities. The REAL department offers tools and resources that help local elected leaders build safe places where people from all racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds thrive socially, economically, academically, and physically. Please refer to the following reading list:   
  • Racial Equity Resolution provides a template and talking points that explain why pursuing equity is good for local government. 
  • The City Leader’s Compass to the My Brother’s Keeper Landscape offers resources for city leaders working to respond to the My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge. This publication highlights a comprehensive set of steps cities can take to tackle disparities, change systems, and improve outcomes for boys and young men of color. 
  • GARE: The Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) is a national network of government working to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities for all. GARE supports jurisdictions that are at the forefront of work to achieve racial equity; develops a “pathway for entry” into racial equity work for new jurisdictions; and builds local and regional collaborations that are inclusive and focused on achieving racial equity.   
  • Race Forward: Race Forward brings systemic analysis and an innovative approach to complex race issues to help people take effective action toward racial equity. The organization conducts original research on pressing racial justice issues ranging from immigration to economic inequality. 
  • ICMA Race, Equity, and Social Justice: Materials curated by the International City Managers Association (ICMA), along with reports and surveys that describe approaches that have an impact and provide the opportunity to learn from the experiences of others. 
  • Mayors and Business Leaders Center for Compassionate and Equitable Cities: Resources, including ideas, initiatives, toolkits, and reports, by mayors and for mayors and other city leaders.