A worry was that the 271-page report from the Commission on Racial and Structural Equity could end up on a shelf.
After all, the hundreds of recommendations calling for change in education, housing, jobs, criminal justice, seem overwhelming. The report was called “No Time for Excuses: It’s time for Action.” But where to start? How to start? Who’s going to make sure things get done?
City and Monroe County officials recently announced a database on rocrase.com that will allow residents to track the progress of the government departments whose job it is to implement the recommendations.
In its first month, the database is populated with a summary of the recommendations developed by the work groups. There are links to the city and/or county department that owns the recommendation and a timeline for when the recommendation is supposed to be implemented.
Actual progress on any recommendation is not yet included, which could confuse or frustrate some people who try to navigate the database at this point to find results. Updates are scheduled to be posted within 30 days of the end of the previous quarter. Information could be posted as soon as the beginning of next year.
“The idea was to let the community know we have been going through the report,” said Corinda Crossdale, deputy county executive for health and human services. “We didn’t want the community to think that this report just sat around. The first task, given the number of recommendations and trying to identify where some of the crossovers were, was a significant lift.”
The report was released in March and the database was launched in late August.
The database is under the “recommendations” tab on rocrase.com. Click either “browse working group recommendations” or “view” under any of the recommendations.
Drop-down menus allow you to filter by recommendation, by working group or by the organization or department that is implementing the recommendation. You also can enter a word to see if it’s contained in the text of a recommendation.
“One of the first huge steps that we had to do is to create the infrastructure,” said Cephas Archie, chief equity officer for the city. “Before we start saying what you’re doing we need to say all right these are all the recommendations. Who owns what. The next step is every quarter you’re responsible for providing us the update on what your status is with that recommendation.”
Each entry also has a link called “get involved,” so the public can offer thoughts on a recommendation or request to get involved in the work of implementing change.
With the scope of the recommendations and the level of government involvement, the risk of updates is that they become full of jargon and serve only the bureaucracy.
Crossdale said information will be posted “in a way that’s meaningful. We’re not just looking to put data out there and checking a box. The information will be posted in a way that’s digestible for the community.”