At its January 17, 2023, meeting, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted to approve a resolution identifying social and racial equity as fundamental values for Loudoun County government. The resolution in part, calls for the county to promote fairness and justice as it develops and implements its priorities, policies and programs. The resolution also calls for a collaborative effort among community partners to intentionally promote equity.
The resolution reads as follows:
Resolution of the Board of Supervisors Regarding Social and Racial Equity as Fundamental Values
WHEREAS, Loudoun County strives to be a prosperous, inclusive, equitable and sustainable community where residents feel free to “live, work, learn and play”; and
WHEREAS, “Equity” is a fundamental value defined as the commitment to promote fairness and justice in the formation of priorities, policies, and programs; and
WHEREAS, equity is achieved when all people are fully able to participate in the County’s economic viability, contribute to the County’s readiness for the future, and connect to the region’s assets and resources; and
WHEREAS, “Racial Equity” is a fundamental value that is defined as the process of eliminating racial disparities while improving outcomes for everyone; and
WHEREAS, racial equity is achieved when community members are thriving and race no longer statistically dictates, determines or predicts one’s social outcome or ability to thrive; and
WHEREAS, the work of Loudoun County Government reflects the regional collaboration and coordination on advancing equity through its membership with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Government (COG) and COG’s Region Forward Vision for the region; and
WHEREAS, the County has a deep and ardent resolve to promote social and racial equity, diversity, and inclusion in all aspects of county government; and
WHEREAS, the County, by creating the Office of Equity and Inclusion and hiring a Chief Equity Officer, has committed to the work of eliminating social and racial disparities, making decisions through an equity lens, and to acknowledging that the County’s past participation in segregation and its impact on communities of color may have resulted in inequitable social, environmental, economic, and criminal justice policies, practices, and investment; and
WHEREAS, the history of Loudoun County and our country may have perpetuated current day disparities in education and job attainment, housing, transportation, environmental safety, access to digital technology, law enforcement, and healthcare, as well as disproportionate outcomes in economic upward mobility of historically marginalized communities including Black and Brown members of our communities; and
WHEREAS, throughout the course of history, racial inequities have become institutionalized in policies and practices whether intentionally or unintentionally; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors unequivocally rejects racial inequities and exclusionary practices that prevent members of our community from feeling free to live, work, learn and play and commits to eliminating social or racial inequities in the County’s priorities, policies, practices, and programs; and
WHEREAS, persons with disabilities can, and do, lead typical, healthy lives when they can access appropriate care, services, and fully participate in our community; and
WHEREAS, all members of our community deserve a clean and healthy environment and life expectancy should never be determined by zip code, race or income; and
WHEREAS, the County recognizes the work of our community partners in the business, nonprofit, education, and faith-based communities focusing on eliminating barriers to progress and access due to race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, or gender identity), national origin, language, age (40 and older), disability, and genetic information (including family medical history), and socioeconomic status; and
WHEREAS, the County recognizes that the future of its residents is inseparably bound to one another; and
WHEREAS, the County acknowledges short and long-term strategies and remedies aimed at building social and racial equity must consider the extensiveness of issues and the utilization of policy to enact substantive change; and
WHEREAS, the County seeks meaningful and thoughtful ways to heal the wounds of our past, reconcile the differences of our present, and unify around the path forward toward a future of a more equitable and inclusive community; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors envision a unified approach where Loudoun County Government and community partners commit to intentionally and collectively advancing equity in a manner that reduces disparities and works collaboratively to bring the County’s vision to complete fruition;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors that Loudoun County is committed to:
- Establishing a vocabulary and shared understanding of the term equity and related terminology that will provide a foundation for Loudoun County Government and the community.
- Continuing to promote equity through educational opportunities and policy focused on understanding, addressing, and eliminating barriers to progress and access due to race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation or gender identity), national origin, language, age (40 and older), disability, and genetic information (including family medical history), and socioeconomic status; and
- Utilizing an equity lens in developing and evaluating the county’s budget, procurement, personnel decisions, plans, policy, programs, and services.
- Collecting and disaggregating data to identify areas where disparities and gaps in service exist.
- Developing an equity framework, defining goals and strategies within an Equity Plan to address and eliminate disparities and allocating an appropriate distribution of resources to support identified strategies.
- We affirm our commitment to combat racial, religious, ethnic, disability, gender, gender identity, and national origin-based harassment and all other forms of unlawful discrimination and to ensure equal opportunity, equity, inclusion, and dignity for all throughout County government.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Supervisors directs the County Administrator or his/her designee to:
- Provide an annual report to the Board of Supervisors on the County’s equity initiatives including the County’s participation in the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and Government Alliance on Race & Equity cohorts designed to advance racial equity; and including the County’s progress in advancing the socioeconomic empowerment of all residents regardless of their race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation or gender identity), national origin, language, age (40 and over), disability, genetic information (including family medical history), and socioeconomic status.
- Present to the Board of Supervisors a framework and Equity Plan for Loudoun County that will identify clear goals and objectives that assess progress in identifying, addressing, and dismantling inequities based on race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation or gender identity), national origin, language, age (40 and over), disability, and genetic information (including family medical history), and socioeconomic status; and capitalize on opportunities to further advance equality and equity.
- Develop an implementation plan that outlines how an equity lens and tools will be used to build capacity, organize the equity work, and embed principles of equity within Loudoun County Government.
- Identify within each County department, and as part of the ongoing Operating Budget and Capital Improvement Plan, a supplementary analysis to be used in decision-making that considers and addresses questions such as:
- Who benefits?
- Who is (individuals or groups) negatively impacted?
- Who is missing?
- Who else should be involved?
- How do we know?
- What did we do to ensure that an equity lens was used in decision-making?
- How are we intentionally engaging multiple perspectives?
- How have barriers to participation been addressed?
- How might this decision increase, decrease, or ignore equity?
- How and when will the process be communicated?
- What barriers prevented more equitable outcomes?
- How will evaluation be used to promote equity and inclusion?
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that upon adoption of this resolution, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors affirms that equity is a fundamental value that will inform all our decisions and that this will ensure a more prosperous, accessible, livable, sustainable, and equitable future for all county residents. Furthermore, the Board instructs the County Administrator to ensure practical application of these values in the analyses, operations, procurement, programs, and priorities moving forward.
- View the discussion about and adoption of the equity resolution at the January 17, 2023, Board of Supervisors meeting.
- Loudoun County News Release: 01-18-23: Board of Supervisors Adopts Social and Racial Equity as Fundamental Values (PDF)