HIRE Minnesota: Minneapolis Passes Employment Equity Resolution

Yesterday, a committee of the Minneapolis City Council unanimously passed a resolution that acknowledges institutional racism and pushes Minneapolis to adopt tools to increase equity in employment.

Specifically, Minneapolis will be creating and implementing a racial equity assessment to analyze its budgets, policies and programs.

HIRE Minnesota has been urging Minneapolis to break down the silos and integrate employment equity with development. This resolution takes the next step by having the city analyze its budgeting, contracting and hiring with a racial equity lens.

HIRE Minnesota helped fill the council chambers alongside other community leaders and public officials who stood together to support this measure. City staff spoke strongly about the need for action on ending racial disparities in Minneapolis. Karen Francois, Minneapolis director of employment equity, shared statistics showing that while 40 percent of Minneapolis residents are people of color, the city’s workforce is only 23 percent people of color.

Council Member Cam Gordon authored the resolution, with Council Member Don Samuels co-sponsoring.. Council Member Gordon emphasized that Minneapolis needs to be a leader. He included a statement in the resolution that Minneapolis “will lead by example and better incorporate racial equity into all city policies and practices.” Council Member Samuels said that this must have an impact on the Native American and African American communities, as those are the groups facing the greatest employment disparities in Minneapolis.

Community members were also given an opportunity to provide comments. Shawn Lewis, who has been pushing for Minneapolis to be a leader on this issue, emphasized the importance of measuring a broad array of the city’s work, saying, “what gets measured is what gets done.” HIRE Minnesota leader Ralph Wyman brought up the need for transparency. “We’ve seen with our work with MnDOT and CCLRT that transparency works,” he said.

We applaud the passage of this resolution and we look forward to its full implementation in Minneapolis as we work together to move Minnesota from worst to first in racial employment equity.