Park City prepares to spend up to $100,000 on social equity contract
City Hall is readying to spend up to $100,000 to advance the municipal government’s social equity efforts, a program meant to ensure Park City is welcoming to a broad range of people.
Park City leaders earlier in 2018 determined social equity will be a critical priority, alongside energy, housing and transportation. The determination triggered overall changes in the work plan at City Hall to greater emphasize the issue. There has been a series of moves as staffers shifted some of their focus to the ideals of social equity and the person who holds the position of community liaison spends significant time on the issue.
But the recent City Hall posting of a document requesting proposals for what is described as a social equity community convener is another important step. The posting indicates the municipal government has set aside up to $100,000 for a community convener.
The community convener, envisioned as a person or a team, will be assigned numerous projects like creating an inventory of services geared toward social equity and identifying any gaps in the services, according to the posting. The person or team will also work with a City Hall task force to identify how the municipal government “can better serve its most vulnerable community members,” the posting says.
“Fairness and inclusion in Park City and access to its municipal services are imperative to building and preserving a complete community. When social equity is not demonstrated in the community as a whole or in local governance, even otherwise minor technical problems are elevated into stifling community issues grounded in lack of trust, disengagement, and helplessness,” the document says in describing City Hall’s interest in a community convener. “These issues grow and become more difficult to resolve. Our community is experiencing a growing concern with regards to inequities, resources, and access.”
Jed Briggs, the budget operations and strategic planning manager at City Hall, said the contract could go to an individual, a business or a not-for-profit organization.
The proposal deadline is Aug. 8. The Park City Council could award a contract in September. Officials want the work completed by July 31, 2019. The document indicates City Hall’s “goal is to jump start this initiative which will galvanize community partners, citizens, and professionals into taking concrete action towards a community strategic action plan.”
Park City leaders moved toward the social equity efforts at a time of growing concern about issues like the socioeconomic makeup of the community. Although social equity is not based exclusively on socioeconomic factors, they are an important component. There have been worries among leaders that certain segments of the community did not enjoy the benefits of Park City’s strong exit from the recession, as an example. There have also been discussions about the future of senior services and services for Latinos, by far the largest minority population in Park City.
City Hall has long addressed some planks in the social equity platform, such as work force or otherwise affordable housing, but the current efforts are meant to be more expansive in nature.
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The Summit County unemployment rate dropped slightly in October, the state Department of Workforce Services reported.