At this year’s virtual CityLab event — perhaps the preeminent meeting for local government folks — one priority emerged as a focal point, and that was fostering equity while recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Within that, many elected officials, experts, and those who work with them stressed the importance of local government striving for greater racial equity in their communities, an especially timely priority after last year’s international protests around injustice in policing following the murder of George Floyd. Throughout three days of virtual events, there was a shared consensus that local government needed to do a better job fostering racial equity and addressing the systemic challenges that fuel the inequities.
For some in the local government space — specifically the folks who manage the central IT shops, as well as the community groups, elected officials and private companies they work with — a logical question then becomes, how can tech be used in the public-sector space to help foster racial equity?
The answer involves a mix of focusing ongoing digital inclusion work, collaborating with community groups in the space, and perhaps most commonly, using data to pinpoint where work needs to be done. At the same time, experts in the space warn that it is important for local government to remain aware of ways that technology can make existing inequities worse.
THE ROLE OF DIGITAL INCLUSION IN FOSTERING RACIAL EQUITY
Marin County, Calif., has been using technology to address racial inequities
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