EQUITY: Applying an Equity Lens to City Policy
WHAT IS AN “EQUITY LENS?”
“An equity lens is a process for analyzing or diagnosing the impact of the design and implementation of policies on under-served and marginalized individuals and groups, and to identify and potentially eliminate barriers.” 
HOW COULD METRO GOVERNMENT APPLY AN EQUITY LENS TO CITY POLICY?
Though there are many different approaches to implementing an equity lens or equity-based approach to public policy, the 7-step “Race Equity and Inclusion Action Guide” by the Annie E. Casey Foundation is a great place to start.
For example, before drafting a new ordinance, allocating funds, or selecting a contractor, Metro government could conduct an equity-based “systems analysis,” starting with the following questions:
What are the racial inequities, barriers or negative outcomes involved in the problem being examined? Who is burdened most and who benefits most?
What institutions are involved? What unfair policies and/or practices are involved?
What social conditions or determinants contribute to the problem (such as poverty, housing segregation, education)?
What other compounding dynamics are involved (such as income or gender inequities)?
What cultural norms, myths or popular ideas justify or maintain the problem?
How did things get this way and what are some of the cumulative impacts?
What are the key causes or contributing factors?
What solutions or interventions could eliminate the inequities?
What can be learned from prior efforts to solve the problem or change the system?
What strategies could result in systemic change and advance equitable solutions? 
This webinar from PolicyLink provides guidance and illustrative examples about how to use the concept of equity to tailor economic development to the specific needs of different communities:
EXAMPLES OF AN EQUITY LENS APPROACH IN ACTION:
“Planning with an Equity Lens: Making Cities More Fair” — An article on the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE), an alliance of cities and counties that are using an equity lens to review existing policies.
“Promising Practices in Government to Advance Racial Equity” — A report from Portland’s Office on Equity and Human Rights that provides a plethora of examples of cities and counties that are using an equity lens, with links to many of their policies and tools for implementing an equity lens.
“Seattle is Helping Baltimore Consider Racial Equity in Budget Decisions” — Examples of putting an equity lens into practice in Seattle and Baltimore.
Seattle City Government’s Racial Equity Toolkit provides a step-by-step process for the development, implementation and evaluation of policies, initiatives, programs, and budget issues to address the impacts on racial equity.
Baltimore’s Outcome Budgeting System is an approach to developing a city budget that starts by asking what results matter most to citizens (instead of just starting from last year’s budget). It prioritizes transparency and performance data and evidence of impact. This 2018 report from Results for America provides details on Baltimore’s outcome budget process and its results.
“San Antonio's 2018 Budget Uses 'Equity Lens' To Allocate Funds” — This 47-minute panel discussion from San Antonio Public Radio highlights San Antonio’s implementation of an Equity Lens. Panel participants include Sheryl Sculley, City Manager for San Antonio, Kiran Bains, Chief Equity Officer for San Antonio's Diversity and Inclusion Office, and Christine Drennon, Director of the Urban Studies Department at Trinity University
 University of Minnesota, University Policy Library. "Equity Lens." Available at https://policy.umn.edu/equity-lens/. Accessed July 22, 2019.
 The Annie E. Casey Foundation, "Race Equity and Inclusion Action Guide: 7 Steps to Advance and Embed Race Equity and Inclusion Within Your Organization." Available at https://www.aecf.org/m/resourcedoc/AECF_EmbracingEquity7Steps-2014.pdf#page=10. Accessed July 27, 2019.