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A Political Moment that Calls for Bold Experimentation

Dear GARE Members, Partners, and Allies,

January 2022 marks two groundbreaking one-year anniversaries. The January 6th insurrection on the U.S. Capitol; and a mere two weeks later, the January 20th anniversary of President Biden’s Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.

A recent poll on Americans’ views of the events that occurred at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, reminds us of the power of disinformation. It was conducted by Ipsos and National Public Radio (NPR) between December 17-20, 2021 among a sample of 1,126 adults ages 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii. Included among the

  • Around one in three (32%) believe the January 6th assault on the U.S. Capitol building was an attempted coup or insurrection, while 28% say it was a riot that got out of control. However, 17% cite a conspiracy – that the events were carried out by opponents of Donald Trump, including Antifa and government agents.
  • More than one in five Americans say sometimes it is okay to engage in violence to protect American democracy (24%) or American culture and values (22%). There is no significant difference between all partisans on this; however, there is a difference between Biden voters and Trump voters, specifically, with the latter more inclined to agree with engaging in violence.
  • Sixty-five percent of Americans agree with the statement, “I accept the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.” However, this number falls to fewer than half among Republicans, Trump voters, and those who get their news from Fox News or conservative news media.

The events that occurred on January 6th resulted from a direct appeal to take action to interfere with the congressional certification of the election – a constitutional duty. It was fueled by political ambition that continues to tell lies about the outcome of the 2020 election. This lie incited violence at the U.S. Capitol, against the elected officials who convened there to conduct their duty to certify the election, and against all who were there to ensure that the proceedings could occur on that day. The President and those elected and appointed to federal service swear an oath to uphold and abide by the constitution. Supporting that oath is not conditional. Supporting the safe and peaceful transition of our government is not conditional.  

The actions Republican State legislatures are taking to restrict voting rights in our country for Black and Brown voters will impact the rights of all voters. These actions are also fueled by lies and disinformation about voter fraud promoted on social media and repeated by public officials. The Ipsos poll results on voting include:

  • Forty-nine percent say standardizing voting rules across states will make American elections fairer compared to only 19% who say it would make elections less fair.
  • The other leading proposal – allowing any eligible voter to vote by mail– is cited by 44% to make the system fairer. This proposal does not have bipartisan support: twice as many Democrats (62%) as Republicans (31%) say it will make the system fairer.
  • Just 15% of Americans say giving state legislatures the power to determine the outcome of an election would make American elections fairer, while 57% say it will make them less fair. In general, views toward proposed election reforms in this poll also vary based on news consumption and the candidate supported in the 2020 election.

How do we make sense of this seemingly polarized reality? And how do we chart a way forward in these politically choppy waters? Ensuring all of us safe and convenient access to participate in our most basic of constitutional rights is not conditional. It is fundamental to our practice of democracy.

Glenn Harris, President of Race Forward often reminds us, “We can’t have racial justice without democracy, and we can’t have democracy without racial justice.” 

The GARE network exists in part because a just, multiracial democracy is an aspiration we, as a nation, have yet to fully realize. At a time when voting rights are increasingly under threat and school board races across the country have gotten
increasingly polarized around the honest and accurate teaching of our nation’s racial legacy, that aspiration can seem even further on the horizon.

And so, here at GARE, we are setting our intentions for the year. A year of bold experimentation this network and the political moment demands; a year of calling more people into this movement for racial equity in government to come together,
both in-person and onlineAnd finally, a year of creating the momentum we need in all aspects of government to get us closer to enjoying a just, multiracial democracy.

Gordon F. Goodwin 
GARE Director

City of Auburn, WA
As public servants of the City of Auburn, each of them take great pride in the trust they hold with each other, the residents, businesses and guests. Perhaps more than any other type of organization, they, as a municipality, hold the responsibility of ensuring that every member of their community is heard and has equitable opportunities to participate and flourish in their city.

The City Council soundly approved Resolution #5427 Inclusive Auburn Initiative to accomplish the following:
  • Eliminate systemic causes of disparities, racial and otherwise, in City of Auburn government
  • Promote inclusion and create opportunities for full participation for every resident and business in the City of Auburn
  • Reduce, and eventually eliminate, disparities of outcomes in our community
"We are all challenged to embrace the discomfort and to honor the experiences, perspectives, questions, and knowledge that we all bring to the table, knowing that what we begin in this year will have lasting impacts in our community and beyond." -Mayor Nancy Backus

To learn more about the City of Auburn and their progress, please visit their website

GARE Annual Membership Meeting

The 2022 GARE Annual Membership Meeting will be in Portland, Oregon and  online from April 19-21. 
Racial Equity: "The-Whole-of-Government Responsibility."

PolicyLink and Race Forward will co-host an online discussion on Thursday, February 3, at 10 am EST with special guests Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and Nse Ufot of the New Georgia Project. Register here.

Job Opportunities

GARE Deputy Director for Transformative Strategies & Learning 
GARE Deputy Director for Network Strategies
Race Forward Senior Vice President, Strategic Partnerships

Tools & Resources

Over the last 18 months, Esri, the global leader in location intelligence, collaborated with GARE and five member jurisdictions to create a Social Equity Analysis solution. With the launch of the Social Equity Analysis solution, more governments can take a data-driven approach in creating and monitoring policies and programs that are designed to address community needs and ensure equity. More information about the tool can be found here

GARE members received an exclusive sneak peak into the new tool at the GARE membership connection on January 24. GARE members can find the recording and resources featured at the event in our 
member portal.
Advancing Equity in Year 2 of the Biden Administration is a guide by PolicyLink and Race Forward to build the knowledge, skills, and mindsets required to build a meaningful foundation for racial equity throughout the federal government as outlined in the Biden Administration’s 2021 executive actions.

Join the launch conversation featuring Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and Nse Ufot of the New Georgia Project. Register

From Seed to Harvest: A Toolkit for Collaborative Racial Equity Strategies is a guide to racial equity practices within your community-government collaboration for sustainability and renewable energy policies and programs.

In the News


“It is admirable that a city like Dallas would want to take a look at the policies and say ‘How can we make sure that we are developing systems that allow for people to have ownership and increase median home values across our city?’ ‘How can we decrease the rent burden on specific parts of our population?’ ‘How can we change the current landscape so that affordable housing continues will reflect the needs of the community – so that it will eliminate some of the historical forces that have prevented Black and Brown people from being to excel and to really thrive?’ When we talk about equity, we talk about everyone having the opportunity to thrive within their communities.” Full article here.

“We are currently in a state of perpetuating failure after failure,” Daniel Favors says. “So trying to get it right and perhaps not getting it perfect? I’m okay with that as long as we’re moving from the level of sustained failure because the failures, so long as it’s borne by people who are not white, have always been a baked-in acceptable outcome of any calculus. Thanks to this work, it hopefully can no longer be that way.” Full article here.

Leaders shared a number of ideas about how implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law can advance equitable outcomes in underserved and low-income communities and make long overdue investments in communities of color, communities facing persistent poverty, Tribal and territorial communities, and urban and rural communities that have faced decades of disinvestment or harmful infrastructure projects. Full article here.

Events in the Field: 

Racial Equity: “The Whole of Government Responsibility"
February 3, 2022 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM (ET)

Talking Data Equity
Weekly, Fridays from 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM starting February 11, 2022

GARE Informational Session
February 22, 2022 from 01:00 PM to 02:00 PM (ET)

GARE Member Events: 
GARE Libraries Group
February 2, 2022 from 1:00 PM to 02:30 PM (ET)

GARE 365 Webinar
February 11, 2022 from 12:00 PM to 01:30 PM (ET)

GARE Monthly Membership Connection
February 28, 2022 from 03:00 PM to 04:30 PM (ET)

GARE Annual Membership Meeting
April 19-April 21, 2022
RaceForward Twitter
GARE Website

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