All-In Cities: The Path to an “Official” All-In City

Dear All-In Cities Community,

Over the past three years, the PolicyLink All-In Cities initiative has worked in dozens of cities through our cohorts and deep-dive engagements to build community power, forge innovative partnerships, and support local leaders in charting a course of action toward becoming "all-in." While we have seen a number of new programs, practices, and policy wins, this month we have experienced a first: a city introducing legislation officially declaring itself as "all-in" in its approaches to and aspirations for change.

All-In cities manifest equity, specifically racial inclusion and equitable growth. They are places where your life chances are not determined by your background or where you live but are places where all can thrive. The all-in city is also a work in progress. Cities are constantly evolving and the work of advancing inclusion and equity requires a long-term commitment, intentionality, and constant learning. Congratulations to our partners in Pittsburgh for making this commitment and spreading the message about what it means to be a city that leads with equity. Check out the update below for more details on this legislation, as well as other work we're doing to help more cities follow Pittsburgh's path.

Pittsburgh Introduces Legislation to Officially Become an "All-In City"
On Tuesday, May 14, 2019, Councilmembers Rev. Ricky Burgess and R. Daniel Lavelle introduced legislation that will require the City of Pittsburgh to embed equity and inclusive practices within city departments. The councilmembers, on behalf of the Pittsburgh Black Elected Officials Coalition (PBEOC), have been working with Mayor Peduto and the Pittsburgh All-In Cities' Equitable Development Collaborative to look at best practices to align the PBEOC's Peace and Justice Initiative (P&JI) work with that of The Path to an All-In Pittsburgh report. The legislation consists of four primary components:

  • A resolution declaring the City of Pittsburgh an "all-in" city;
  • An ordinance supplementing the Pittsburgh code to add equity reporting requirements of department directors;
  • A resolution establishing an Equity and Inclusion Implementation Team; and
  • An ordinance amending the Pittsburgh zoning code to require affordable housing impact statements.

The city council could discuss the proposed legislative package as early as next Wednesday. It is expected to pass.

Pushing Opportunity Zones to Fulfill Their Promise
What should cities do to ensure new investments driven by Opportunity Zones are equitable and prevent displacement? Christopher M. Brown and Chris Schildt from the All-In Cities team authored a recent opinion piece in Shelterforce on how urban policymakers should engage community members, enforce equitable development standards through local zoning and permitting authority, and incentivize responsible investments. They write, "To date, most discussion about Opportunity Zones (including guidance from the U.S. Treasury) has been geared toward investors and how they can benefit from the tax break. City leaders, however, must develop policy frameworks to ensure that the investments do what they were created to do: 1) alleviate poverty, 2) create jobs, and 3) support small and local business."

Webinar: Community Land Trusts as a Strategy for Neighborhood Preservation
Cities across the country are facing a housing crisis. Both renters and homeowners are struggling to navigate skyrocketing housing costs and stagnant wages. Low-income people of color in particular are being hit hardest as they face both residential and cultural displacement. Community land trusts have historically served as a viable strategy for both organizing residents and preserving low-income communities of color.

This webinar will highlight the significance of community land trusts as an equitable development strategy for preventing the displacement of low-income people of color in gentrifying neighborhoods. Please join Ashley Allen from Houston Community Land Trust and Zachary Murray from Oakland Community Land Trust as they discuss the history of community land trusts as a civil rights strategy for preserving communities of color and some of the successes, challenges, and lessons learned in their efforts to use to develop community land trusts in their respective cities.

Featured Speakers:

  • Ashley Allen, Executive Director, Houston Community Land Trust
  • Zachary Murray, Program Manager, Oakland Community Land Trust

ESSENCE and PolicyLink Mayors Roundtable
Last month, ESSENCE and the All-In Cities Initiative hosted its second virtual roundtable for the ESSENCE and PolicyLink Mayors Roundtable focused on "Harnessing the Power of the Knowledge Economy." This topic was selected as advances in technology have shifted us towards a knowledge-driven economy, fundamentally transforming cities in the process. The mayors heard presentations from Darline Jean, Chief Digital Officer, ESSENCE Communications; Tanya Lombard, Assistant Vice President at AT&T; and Bari A. Williams, startup advisor, author, and VP of Legal, Business, and Policy Affairs at All Turtles. The mayors had a rich discussion about diversity in the tech sector, career pathways for women, and preparing young people for the knowledge economy.

In solidarity,

Tracey Ross
Associate Director
All-In Cities