National Equity Atlas Update
Dear Atlas Users,
We hope you are enjoying the end of summer! We had a busy month with the release of five new equity profiles, a national convening on how to design equity data tools for community action, and the release of the All-In Cities Policy Toolkit.
New Equity Profiles Released for Five Communities
Understanding the state of equity in your community is a crucial first step to developing equitable growth strategies, but such comprehensive assessments are rare, especially for smaller communities. With support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the National Equity Atlas team recently released equity profiles for five smaller communities: Las Cruces and Farmington, New Mexico; Biloxi and Sunflower County, Mississippi; and Battle Creek, Michigan. During our June 29 webinar, Jessica Pizarek and James Crowder of PolicyLink shared key findings with the field and local leaders from the five communities described how they would use the data to advance equity efforts.
Powering Health Equity Action with Online Data Tools Convening
On July 10, the National Equity Atlas team and Ecotrust hosted a convening in Portland focused on how data tools like the Atlas can power community action towards health equity. About 40 researchers, advocates, data users, and funders shared learnings and workshopped a set of design principles for online data tools for health equity. One of the panels featured Nathaniel Smith from the Partnership for Southern Equity, Sam Sinyangwe from Campaign Zero/Mapping Police Violence, Julia Sebastian from Race Forward, Cat Goughnour from Prosperity Now, and Antwi Akom from Streetwyze, ISEEED, and the Social Innovation and Urban Opportunity Lab at the University of California, San Franiciso and San Francisco State University. Watch that panel discussion here and look out for a final report on the convening and design principles in the fall.
Chart of the Week: Rollback of St. Louis Minimum Wage Hike Drags Down Missouri Economy
Come August 28, St. Louis’s minimum wage will drop from $10/hour to $7.70/hour, thanks to a new Missouri law that prevents municipalities from enacting higher minimum wages than the state standard. This shortsighted policy harms workers and ultimately the state’s economy since lower wages translate into less spending and higher levels of public assistance for the working poor. It also hinders sorely needed progress toward racial equity, as illustrated by our chart of the week. In St. Louis, median hourly wages for full-time workers has remained $18/hour since 1990, while the wage gap between Black and White workers has doubled. To be the first to view each week's chart, follow @PolicyLink on Twitter and visit the Data in Action section of the National Equity Atlas.
New Resource: All-In Cities Policy Toolkit
Interested in learning more about policy solutions to advance racial inclusion and equitable growth? Check out the new All-In Cities Policy Toolkit released July 13. It provides more information on many of the policy strategies shared on the Atlas including living wage provisions, local and targeted hiring, summer youth employment, housing trust funds, racial equity impact assessments, and more. Click here to view the toolkit launch webinar with a demo on how to navigate the site, and stay tuned for new content!
New Study Shows Less Income Inequality = Greater Economic Resilience
A new article in Regional Studies, by three economists at the University of Idaho exploring the relationship between income equality and economic resilience, found that the risk of recession was lower for more equitable counties during the Great Recession. Why was this the case? Because higher-income households are less likely to spend money locally than lower-income households and because growing consumer debt makes the middle-class more vulnerable. Check out this overview in CityLab, and find this and other resources to make the economic case for equity on the Atlas.
The National Equity Atlas team at PolicyLink and the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE)