Pierce County Equity Review Committee

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The Equity Review Committee is a facilitated, 14-member advisory committee formed by the Pierce County Council through Resolution No. R2021-109. Council members appointed two people from the seven respective districts, with at least one of the two people representing marginalized and/or underserved communities.



In addition to the Council-appointed voting members, seven non-voting members were appointed as follows: 


  • The County Executive appointed three members representing the Human Resources Department, the Finance Department, and Department of Assigned Counsel.
  • The Prosecuting Attorney appointed one member.
  • The Sheriff appointed one member.
  • Superior Court appointed one member.
  • District Court appointed one member.

Pierce County Council action around Diversity, Equity and Inclusion


In June 2020, the Pierce County Council adopted Resolution No. R2020-43, which recognized the diverse communities of Pierce County, the factors leading to systemic racism, and the principle that the rights of every citizen are diminished when the rights of one citizen is threatened. The Council also requested several executive departments and the judicial branch to review current policies, procedures, and best practices considering the County’s commitment to community inclusivity, and to submit those reviews to Council. 

 

In response to Resolution No. R2020-43, the Pierce County Executive formed the Criminal Justice Workgroup to analyze the county's criminal justice data. Workgroup members represent the Office of the Executive, Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, Department of Assigned Counsel, Pierce County Sheriff, Pierce County Corrections, and the Clerk of Superior Court.

 

Following the passage of Resolution No. R2020-43, the Council created a 14-member Public Review Committee to review the requested submissions and provide recommendations to the Council (Resolution No. R2020-76). Facilitated by Retired Pierce County Superior Court Judge Frank Cuthbertson, the Public Review Committee met seven times from Sept. 23 to Nov. 4, 2020, and presented its final report to Council on Nov. 18, 2020. 


Included were three principal recommendations: Continue the Public Review Committee as is or in some form; Conduct further analysis of criminal justice data; and Adopt countywide Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives.


Equity Review Committee formation

 

On Aug. 3, 2021, Council adopted two resolutions (R2021-108s and R2021-109), creating the Equity Review Committee and requesting the Executive develop and recommend the following DEI initiatives: 


  • A countywide equity index (R2021-108s).
  • An analytical framework (called an “equity note”) that uses the index to evaluate legislation and actions proposed by the Executive (R2021-108s).
  • A DEI policy to guide all Executive department and Council decision making (R2021-109).
  • Assessment tools for promoting cultural competency in county operations (R2021-109).

 

Council requested the Executive deliver his recommendations to the Equity Review Committee by Aug. 15, 2022 for committee review. The Committee must also do the following:


  • Monitor and review the continuing data analysis conducted by the Executive's Criminal Justice Workgroup.
  • Provide its own recommendations on moving the County to a more culturally competent organization.

 

After completing its reviews and tasks, the Equity Review Committee must make recommendations to the Council’s Committee of the Whole on a periodic basis but no later than Oct. 3, 2022.


Committee members


Voting members
District 1: Tiffany Robson, Scott Harrison
District 2: Jmarie Johnson-Kola, Paul Herrera
District 3: Harvey Gilchrist, Russell Alfaro
District 4:  Andre Jimenez, Dr. Latoya Brackett
District 5: Fahren Johnson, Dr. Angie Hambrick
District 6: Jim Cook, Darwin Peters
District 7: Roxanne Simon, Priya D. Saxena


Non-voting members
Finance Department: Gary Robinson
Human Resources: Judy Archer
Assigned Counsel: Michael Kawamura
Prosecuting Attorney's Office: Nicole Caldwell
Pierce County Superior Court: Hon. Clarence Henderson
Pierce County District Court: Hon. Karl Williams 
Pierce County Sheriff's Department: Laruen Wallin


Facilitator:
Retired Pierce County Superior Court Judge Frank Cuthbertson

Staff liaison:

William Bridges, Principal Policy Analyst

Meeting timeline


The committee's first meeting is Dec. 8, 2021 at 3 p.m. and will be held virtually using Zoom. Following that meeting the committee will establish its future meeting schedule.


How to attend a meeting

The Equity Review Committee meets virtually through Zoom. The public is invited to attend committee meetings with this link or the Zoom application with webinar ID 937 9003 4675.

 



Associated legislation


Resolution R2021-108s, creating the Equity Review Committee and requesting the Executive develop and recommend certain Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives.


Resolution R2021-109, requesting the creation of countywide DEI policy to guide all Executive and Council decision making and assessment tools to promote cultural competency in county operations.


Resolution R2021-192, appointing members to the Equity Review Committee.


Resolution R2020-43, directing the Executive and requesting the Judicial Branch and Prosecuting Attorney to conduct reviews of policies and procedures.


Resolution R2020-75, changed the date for when the reports requested under R2020-43 were presented to Council and moved the presentation from the Public Safety Committee to a Committee of the Whole meeting.


Resolution R2020-76, establishing the public review committee on law and justice.