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Governing for Racial Equity & Structuring for Success

Hello GARE Membership Network! 

We are still riding the wave of energy, connection, and insights from our network’s annual member meeting. It was a true delight to have over 1,500 of us together to explore the theme of “Democracy for All: Governing for Racial Equity.” Breakout sessions showcased the exemplary work of our colleagues in the GARE network, on wide ranging topics like budget equity tools, capacity building and community contracting, restoring land to tribal nations through property policy, and much more. The breadth and depth of the breakout session programming is emblematic of the hard hitting work our members are leading, and the kind that needs to continue growing to build the racially equitable government we all demand.

Network gatherings like our annual meeting show us the importance and impact of this community.  We are proud that this network has grown in ways we could never imagine when GARE began. Since its official founding in 2014, this network has nearly doubled in size every year. We now have over 330 member jurisdictions. And, we are so heartened by your commitment, the successes won, as well as the lessons learned and shared.

Now, more than ever before, we must invest in the GARE network's infrastructure and programmatic design. To that end, the GARE team is excited to begin a strategic program redesign this summer so we can better support our growing membership.. Please review the announcement on the website, and stay tuned for more information and ways to engage. Feedback, input, and ideas from members will be our guiding star in this process, and we thank you in advance for your patience and participation in this endeavor. 

With gratitude and excitement,
Gordon Goodwin and Cathy Albisa
GARE Network


Member Spotlight

Frederick County, MD

The CE (County Executive) is committed to racial equity and social justice for all. They acknowledge the challenges in institutionalizing changes toward achievement of these goals throughout the County. Initial efforts to toward achieving these goals include:

By launching a County employee diversity committee, Frederick County is beginning to identify areas where the workforce lacks diversity. In addition, an RFP to solicit proposals for analysis of employee diversity, hiring, and retention practices, and other systemic personnel initiatives is also underway. Frederick County will also hire coordinators of diversity training and diversity recruitment.

Frederick County Office of Economic Development created a Minority Business Vision and has held monthly networking events and a leadership training for the past 6 years and recently created a Minority Business Executive Development Program with area colleges. 

In spring 2020 the County Executive began meeting with the African American community and business members in listening sessions to hear their concerns, needs, and challenges. There have been 12 listening sessions and five key information interviews to date. The CE also held a town hall titled, “A Conversation about Racial Equity”, with speakers from education, health, advocacy, and economic development.

Those tools and resources are now available on the Frederick County website. Visit the site to learn more about why the County has chosen to lead with race, meet the Frederick County staff, and browse the racial equity resources available for use.

In the News

Park index adds equity to ranking criteria

The Trust for Public Land released its annual Park Score Index, which for the first time includes equity among the criteria for ranking cities' park space. Washington, D.C., topped this year's ranking, with suburb Alexandria, Va., ranking fourth, while St. Paul, Minn., and neighboring Minneapolis were second and third, respectively.

Full Story: Grist

California State Leaders Take Concrete Steps to Address Systemic Racism

Action steps include: 
  • The Natural Resources Agency created an Assistant Secretary of Tribal Affairs position;
  • The Environmental Protection Agency incorporated race demographic data into CalEnviroScreen, a tool used by departments to prioritize neighborhoods for investment;
  • Department of Transportation's Motor Vehicle Board created an advisory committee on Equity, Justice and Inclusion. 
Read the Racial Equity Report here.
Combat COVID connects public health professionals, healthcare providers, and the public with current, evidence-based information on vaccines, treatment guidelines, and federally supported clinical trials for COVID-19. To learn more, visit the Combat COVID website, created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

How We Fight Back Against the GOP's New War on Democracy 

Mere weeks after George Floyd's  brutal murder and the subsequent public outcry, Rufo launched his attack against racial justice. The Trump administration then adopted Chris Rufo's approach in an effort to shut down an emerging national conversation on race  by issuing an executive order calling on agencies to end trainings banning words like systemic racism in subsequent documents explaining the order. The rising extremist voices and threats against multiracial democracy had found their approach.

Full Story:
Common Dreams

Thank you, farewell, and see you in the movement!

Thank you to one of our talented GARE staff leaders, Shawna Davie, who has taken up a new key opportunity to continue her work on racial equity in government. 

On June 1, Shawna Davie departed her post as GARE South Regional Manager to lead the National League of Cities (NC) Racial Equity and Leadership (REAL) Department. Shawna’s presence and significant body of work at GARE has been a source of strength for the GARE team and network, and we congratulate her on being selected to lead racial justice work at NLC. 

Over the past 5 years, Shawna’s leadership was key to building a powerful learning network of jurisdictions in North Carolina, and in serving to build racial equity organizational change capacity for jurisdictions in TX, TN, FL and many other jurisdictions outside of the South region. As a GARE team member, Shawna led the way on orienting new regional manager staff to their roles, launching the GARE Foundations program and revising the way that we teach the Racial Equity Tool - a benefit that will serve the entire GARE network for many years to come.  

Shawna’s leadership of REAL further deepens our longstanding relationship with the National League of Cities.  We look forward to our collaboration with Shawna in her new leadership role and are excited to see the energy and vision she will bring.  
Shawna, thank you for the vision and vigor you brought to the GARE work, and we look forward to working with you in new capacities in the very near future!

Upcoming Events: 
GARE Informational Session
Thursday, July 8, 3:30 - 5:00 PM ET

GARE Informational Session
Tuesday, July 27, 3:30 - 5:00 PM ET


GARE Working Group: Racial Equity CEOs
Friday, June 25, 1:30-3:00 PM (ET)

GARE Monthly Membership Connection - 
Monday, June 28, 3:00-4:30 PM (ET) - Banned Words

GARE Working Group: Libraries
Wednesday, July 7, 1:00 - 2:30 PM ET

A Film Screening of 'A Reckoning in Boston'
Friday, July 9, 12:00 - 2:30 PM ET

GARE Working Group: Arts & Culture
Friday, July 16, 1:30-3:00 PM (ET)

GARE Working Group: Racial Equity CEOs
Friday, July 16, 1:30-3:00 PM (ET)

GARE Monthly Membership Connection
Monday, July 26, 3:00 - 4:30 PM ET

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GARE Website

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