Policy Priorities

Building a Just and Inclusive Future

Policy Priorities

ERRA’s work, rooted in the experience of BIPOC communities, addresses long-term structural and systemic inequities and obstacles to economic security. Today we are focusing our efforts on several key drivers of inequality, in ways that can have an immediate impact. This is just the beginning of our work.

BIPOC SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

The impact of the pandemic demonstrated both the fragility and resilience of small businesses that serve as the economic and cultural anchors of BIPOC communities. This is precisely the moment to invest in long-term strategies that build the equitable economic ecosystems BIPOC small businesses and communities need.

At the state level ERRA is advocating for two major initiatives described here, and related municipal strategies:

The creation of a statewide fund to provide low-cost/no-cost flexible capital at scale for BIPOC small businesses, alongside new investments to build the capacity of trusted community-based organizations to support these businesses. This work builds on research and advocacy by partners such as Crescent Collaborative. Learn more about this work via a case study of Earl’s Cuts and Styles, a landmark business in Seattle’s Central District. 

New avenues for BIPOC community-based organizations to secure capital funding to develop public markets or “mercados” and other shared infrastructure to assist BIPOC entrepreneurs.

To learn more about ERRA’s Policy Priorities around BIPOC Small Business development, click here.

Advancing Racial Equity in Workforce Development

In partnership with the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County and other regional actors, ERRA is advancing a shared strategy around workforce development with the following pillars: 

Center racial equity by demanding transparency and accountability in who receives workforce development funds, measure tangible outcomes for BIPOC workers, and bring attention to how our fragmented system harms communities and workers most in need.

Increase our region’s investments in workforce development by advancing innovative workforce strategies that include investments in digital equity, work-based learning, language access, and policy reforms that benefit historically underserved workers and communities.

Increase access for BIPOC workers in high-growth sectors with good job quality that have historically excluded BIPOC workers and raise job quality (including wages, benefits, agency, career pathways) in industries where BIPOC workers are concentrated.

To learn more about ERRA’s Policy Priorities around workforce development, click here.

Criteria for Racially Equitable Recovery

Our state and region have made considerable investments in a wide range of recovery strategies. Governments, philanthropic enterprises, and communities must assess the impact of these investments, examine their relationship to equity, and ask what can be done to ensure that future investments and policies lead to equitable outcomes. 

ERRA developed a racial equity framework outlining key principles that serve as the basis of an analysis from a BIPOC perspective, then applied the framework to three  programs to demonstrate how the tool is used. The framework is designed to be a simple, clear, and actionable analysis that leads to meaningful results for BIPOC communities.