The Renton-King County Alliance for Justice, Renton Residents For Change, and other community leaders and organizations have come together and released a petition calling on the mayor and city council to make policy, budget, and administrative changes. The petition includes demands for a new equity commission, diverting funds to community investments, and creating a fund to help achieve equity in Black homeownership, academic and career outcomes.
“To continue to be ahead of the curve, we need to ensure that all residents achieve equity in all areas…”– Renton #Stand4Justice Petition
The four demands are as follows:
- Create the Equity & Empowerment Commission
- Divert funds to community
- Meet 50% BIPOC Employment & Contracting in the City
- Create and support the RISE fund
The petition goes into more specifics on what each of these means. The Equity & Empowerment Commission looks to be a revival of a former city commission that was rooted in diversity and began as a Human Rights Commission in 1976. Renton-King County Alliance for Justice seeks to grant it additional responsibilities and update the requirements.
For its diversion of the budget to community-based investments, the petition calls for moving to the UP program. In addition, it seeks to establish a mental healthcare response, investments into addiction treatment, and other community youth initiatives to end the school-to-prison pipeline.
Meeting 50% employment and contracts with BIPOC communities within the city administration is a clear demand. There is an additional ask that city commissions begin to reflect the demographics of Renton as well. Both these tasks would require changes from the city administration staff and by the city council and mayor.
The RISE fund is said to be used to create pathways to Black-owned businesses, homeownership, academic & employment opportunities, and other avenues which would secure equity and invest into Black communities in Renton. The petition is calling on residents to sign and show the city government your support for these demands.