Social Justice Ordinance in Seattle

It is my great pleasure to share that Dan Trudeau and I recently published, “What cities can learn from Seattle’s racial and social justice law” in The ConversationIn this piece, we draw upon research from my book, Imagining Seattle: Social Values in Urban Governanceto discuss Seattle’s recent passage of a Race and Social Justice Initiative Ordinance. We highlight several key insights from Seattle’s ordinance that could be applied in other cities where equity is a priority. These include: professional development trainings to build capacity; systems and structures to make the implementation of social justice actions possible and impactful; creating a foundation for, and culture of, social change; and, importantly, recognizing the place specifics of each context and tailoring efforts to apply to local concerns and needs. As geographers, we are well aware of the ways places are different. Municipal governments need to attend to such particularities while also learning from the broader lessons of successful endeavors, like the Race and Social Justice Initiative, and now ordinance, in Seattle.