How Far Will We Go to Prioritize Equity in Grand Rapids?

 In All News, In the News

This article was originally posted by The Rapidian. To read the rest of the article, click here.

In this opinion piece in the Rapidian civic blog, columnist Amy Carpenter writes that my question, which I asked during the Rose Center meeting, is this: Some of West Michigan’s big money donors and decision-makers have historically not been on the side of equity. Some donors will not support, say, mental health issues, and some are not for LGBTQ issues. So how do we, the public, have trust? What I would like to see is that our city will sometimes say no to big money if it means leaving people behind.

The experts on the Rose Center team had various answers. They offered that trust is not a destination but a journey, including the conversation to look at different dimensions of equity. They offered that we need to create a process for creating trust that includes discussing our history, including past bias and disinvesting in certain communities. They offered that we need to ask in a positive way for consistent measurable actions.

At City Hall, a panel of experts presented their findings on equity—or the lack of it—in the use of public land and incentives in new development. Members of the Rose Center for Public Leadership in Land Use based their recommendations on over sixty interviews they’ve conducted as they studied Grand Rapids.

The presentation was made with big businesses and developers in mind. Presenters pointed out that creating equity means creating income – when all populations are working, earning, and buying, the economy as a whole benefits……read the full article.

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