The start of the newest elected term presented an opportunity to re-think the City’s strategic planning process. Additionally, the City is experiencing unique timing in that it is in alignment with the start of several enterprise-wide plans including the Comprehensive Plan, the Racial Equity Action Plan and the City’s budget process.
The revised strategic planning process would integrate strategic planning and racial equity action planning into a joint plan, build on the City’s Comprehensive Plan, and inform the annual budget. In August 2018 an RFP was issued for the Strategic and Racial Equity Action Planning process. CultureBrokers was selected as the supplier to complete this work.
This revised process kicked off with a day-long planning session on August 29th, where the Mayor, Council Members, Department leadership and community members represented by the Racial Equity Community Advisory Committee (RECAC) gathered to discuss and rank policy areas from the comprehensive plan using a set of four criteria. These criteria included the degree to which:
- The City owns the problem or solution, and has control over the outcomes;
- The City could achieve measurable outcomes to reduce racial disparities by 2022;
- The focus will present a long- term solution to a deeply rooted problem;
- Progress toward institutional racism will occur.
The results of this session, which was a ranked list of policy areas based on these criteria, were brought to a session with Council Members on September 20th. The purpose of the session was to narrow to a list of seven policy areas and arrive at specific strategic need statements to a series of operational planning sessions using the Metrics of Urgency, a systematic approach that links business strategy to prioritized improvement project execution. At this session, policy makers worked hard and arrived at a short list of eight policy areas. The plan to limit the number of policy areas and write very specific strategic need statements was ambitious and we were not able to accomplish this work in the time set aside. There were several additional key take aways including the need to set aside additional time for the Mayor and Council Members to re-visit and update the City’s vision and to prioritize and move forward racial equity work.
The changes discussed at the September 20th session have resulted in the planning team revising the process to incorporate the additional requested work, while continuing to move this important work forward. Due to these changes, a contract extension and small increase are required to complete the work in 2019.