Seattle and Baltimore: Peer City Exchange on Outcome Budgeting & Racial Equity

Intercity exchange

As part of Results for America’s Local Government Fellowship Program, the Cities of Baltimore and Seattle recently convened for a peer-to-peer exchange to discuss budgeting best practices. Representatives from Baltimore’s BBMR shared how they implemented outcome budgeting, and the Seattle team shared their methodology around applying a racial equity lens in making budget decisions.  BBMR published a Medium blog post about the exchange.  

Seattle requires all city agencies to use a Racial Equity Toolkit designed by the Seattle Office of Civil Rights Race & Social Justice Initiative, which helps decision-makers prioritize racial equity as they implement programs, policies, and budgets. The Toolkit includes six main steps for the user to follow: “set outcomes; involve stakeholders & analyze data; determine benefit and/or burden; advance opportunity or minimize harm; evaluate, raise racial awareness, be accountable; and report back.”  The toolkit can be viewed on the Seattle OCR RSJI website.   

In December, the Bureau of the Budget and Management Research discussed the Toolkit at their annual retreat and considered potential applications of racially equitable budgeting in Baltimore. 

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