Racial Equity and Social Justice

Achieve racial equity in County service provision and ensure a workforce reflective of the community we serve.

Goal 4, Objective 1

Establish a process for engagement and collaboration with community members and stakeholder groups, and launch a community engagement strategy by the end of 2022 with a focus on racial equity.
On Track 30%

Updated: January 2024

Summary of objective implementation status (achievements or progress over last year; significant delays or issues, etc.)

  • On September 20, 2022, the Board approved a contract with Equity First Consulting for a not‐to exceed amount of $450,000 for an 18‐month term ending in March 2024 to support the creation of a Community Engagement Plan as part of the investments in County cultural responsiveness made using American Rescue Plan Act funds.
  • The ARPA-funded Bilingual Community Engagement Analyst was shifted away from the Community Resilience Program implementation to lead the Community Engagement Plan development effort.
  • The Office of Equity of the County of Sonoma and the County Administrator’s Office commissioned an equity driven community engagement process to develop a Community Engagement Plan, informed by County staff and community input, to provide guidance and best practices for engaging in a bidirectional and culturally responsive manner between County departments and community members and to break down barriers to engagement in Sonoma County.
  • Development of the plan is broken down into three phases: conducting an internal assessment of current practices and guidelines through focus groups and interviews with staff (Front facing staff, Managers, Directors, and Department Heads), conducting focus groups and interviews with marginalized communities, and, lastly, developing the plan.
  • A brief for intergovernmental Relations with Native Nations in Sonoma County has also been drafted as part of the development of the plan.
  • The draft findings and recommendations were presented to the Board of Supervisors on 1/30/24 and again on 6/10/24 for final adoption.

Key milestone update (include relevant metrics, if applicable)

Phases 1 and 2 of the Plan are complete and we are currently developing a draft of the Plan.

Phase 1: Grounding and Exploration

  • Document review of existing efforts within the County
  • Literature review of practices in comparable jurisdictions

Phase 2: Internal/County Staff Engagement

  • 6 focus groups with 47 County Staff
  • 12 interviews with 16 County Staff

External/Community Engagement

  • 10 focus groups 89 community members
  • 16 interviews with 24 community members
  • 7 interviews with Community-Based Organizations (CBOs)
  • Demographic survey of all participants

Coordination and partnership update:

  • The development of the Plan used a Community-Based Leader model of working with trusted leaders from communities of focus to co-create engagement efforts and outreach.

Community, equity and climate update

  • An equity lens will be applied in the development and implementation of the goals by centering community throughout the process and by including community-based organizations at all steps. Centering the community is essential at crucial steps of the process and the inclusion of community voices in the decision-making process.

Funding narrative (If this objective received Strategic Plan funding in year 1 or year 2, please provide a status of expenditures to date.)

$300,000 received in Year 1 Strategic Plan funding to support all Goal 4 objectives, which includes funds to support translation and stipend costs in the development of the Community Engagement and Language Access Plans. As of November 17, 2023, $1,161 has been expended. $120,000 is set aside for contracts for consultants and translation/interpretation service, but they have not been expended yet.