Chapter 1101: Equity Plan

Section 1101.01 Introduction

This Cuyahoga County Equity Plan includes two main parts. Sections 1101.02-1101.04 of the County Code are an aspirational statement, setting forth our vision as to what a successful equity program for our county would consist of and how it would be achieved. Sections 206.09, 208.01 and 1101.05 of the County Code provide for the implementation of specific actions to help achieve the goals set forth in Sections 1101.02-1101.04.

(Ordinance No. O2012-0014, Enacted 8/14/2012, Effective 9/19/2012)

Section 1101.02 Vision of Equity

A. Purpose: Cuyahoga County embraces the ideal of one united community, committed to equality of opportunity for all of our citizens. As part of our equity plan, the county’s objective is to remove barriers and enable all citizens in our community to have equal opportunities to fulfill their potential. The county will do so by ensuring that best practices in equity are being implemented by all county departments and agencies and by measuring progress on an ongoing basis. In addition, the county will work with community partners to influence other important domains that reinforce the economic, educational, health and social progress of Cuyahoga County and its citizens.

B. Definition of Equity: Equity is fairness, justice and inclusion by and among people and across all social, economic, and political classifications regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation including gender identity, disability, age, or ancestry. An equitable community is a fair, just and healthy community, one that cares that income, race, and neighborhood are often major predictors of high school graduation rates, incarceration rates, general health and life expectancy. An equitable community is a connected community, one that links more people to better opportunities – among those being job opportunities, educational opportunities, business development and wellness opportunities.

(Ordinance No. O2012-0014, Enacted 8/14/2012, Effective 9/19/2012)

Section 1101.03 Domains of Equity

Promoting equity requires efforts in many domains. Some of these domains relate to internal county department and agency operations; others revolve around external areas over which the county may exert influence. Many domains involve both internal and external operations and influences. Areas over which the county expects to require or influence equity efforts include:

A. Human Resources: Hiring and Promotion: Consistent with the county’s equal opportunity policies, Cuyahoga County will be an employer committed to equity and diversity in all of its employment practices, with an emphasis on equity, merit, and diversity in hiring and promotion in accordance with Section 9.04 of the Cuyahoga County Charter.

B. Health and Human Services: Cuyahoga County will work towards ensuring that access to basic health and human services offered by the county is available based on need, promoting health and wellness initiatives for its employees and citizens; and supporting area organizations that contribute to a healthy community.

C. Contracting & Procurement: When issuing competitive bid requests/request for proposals or qualifications and when purchasing services, Cuyahoga County will strive to encourage and invite participation by qualified vendors from all geographic parts of the county, including minority, female, and small business enterprises.

D. Public Works and Infrastructure: Cuyahoga County plans to prioritize projects that are most needed in order to promote safety, inclusion and economic development across the county when determining the schedule and location of public works and infrastructure projects.

E. Public Safety and Justice Services: Cuyahoga County will provide access to a public safety and justice system that is fair to all of our citizens. Justice system advocacy efforts will ensure that victims are treated with compassion. To the extent permitted by grant conditions and guidelines, the County will award public safety grants based on overall community needs. Emergency management coordination will ensure that all areas of the county are involved in planning, preparedness and response.

F. Partnerships & Public Participation: Cuyahoga County will work with public and private partners, including local governments, businesses, institutions and organizations to promote the county as a place of inclusion, fairness, health and economic growth.

G. Education: Cuyahoga County will encourage, promote and support efforts to improve our educational system from early childhood through college and beyond. The county will encourage efforts designed to ensure that citizens have access to resources that improve skills and contribute to lifelong learning.

H. Economic Development: In accordance with the County’s approved Economic Development Plan, Cuyahoga County will strengthen its collaboration with all County stakeholders, coordinating its economic development efforts through productive and transformative partnerships. The county will consider how it allocates resources, balancing factors, including the efficient use of resources, in areas of greatest need and on issues that require immediate attention.

I. Workforce Development: Cuyahoga County will foster job and vocation preparation, with a view to increasing employment opportunities and labor force participation for our residents, particularly among the poor and marginalized in our community.

J. Environmental: Cuyahoga County will demonstrate a commitment to a sustainable community, one that appreciates its natural assets and seeks to preserve those assets for future generations. Any and all actions taken by the County to promote any of these objectives shall be done subject to and in accordance with all legal requirements, including all applicable state and federal laws and the Cuyahoga County Charter.

K. Voting Rights and Access to the Ballot: Cuyahoga County will act to protect its citizens’ right to vote. The County will promote voter registration at all levels of citizen interaction with County Government. The County will also promote early voting programs, including voting by mail programs. When deemed necessary and appropriate, the County’s Department of Law will seek court intervention to protect access to the ballot by the County’s citizens.

(Ordinance Nos. O2014-0008, Enacted 4/8/2014, Effective 4/14/2014; O2012-0014, Enacted 8/14/2012, Effective 9/19/2012)

Section 1101.04 Equity Goals/Values

Cuyahoga County will establish equity objectives reflecting the following values:

A. Inclusiveness: Cuyahoga County seeks to be a place of welcome for all people, encouraging interaction across the geographic and economic sectors of the county, and reflecting the diversity of cultures among us.

B. Comprehensiveness: Cuyahoga County will promote equity across all the domains, both internal and external, setting an example for both public and private partners.

C. Collaboration: Partnerships among the county and other political subdivisions, private sector businesses and nonprofit organizations, and other community institutions will be the norm as the county acts on this equity plan.

D. Community Outreach: Cuyahoga County will demonstrate efforts to reach out to the entire community when acting under this equity plan.

E. Measurement, Reporting & Transparency: As the county acts in the domains and reflects the values expressed in this equity plan, it will develop a system for collecting, recording, analyzing, encouraging community participation and publicly reporting information regarding the County’s policies and initiatives in the area of equity through transparent and accountable means based on objective data and benchmarks.

(Ordinance No. O2012-0014, Enacted 8/14/2012, Effective 9/19/2012)

Section 1101.05 Annual Equity Report

The annual equity report, provided for in Section 206.09(C)(7) shall include, at a minimum:

A. a review and summary of the County’s equity initiatives, organized by domain

B. a summary of where and how resources dedicated to equity initiatives were allocated

C. an analysis of equity results as measured against benchmarks

D. a description of how the county collected the reported data and made it accessible to the public

E. an update on benchmarks and a description of changes in equity initiatives for the coming year

(Ordinance No. O2012-0014, Enacted 8/14/2012, Effective 9/19/2012)