King County approves program to fight racism and other injustices


Weiju Wang, Reporter

On March 15, the King County Council approved a grant program to fight the displacement of racial minorities and other consequences of historical racism. The council recognized the county’s history of institutional racism, saying in a press release that laws which prevented black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) from buying houses and accumulating generational wealth have created long-lasting effects. This has been further exacerbated by rising house prices in recent years. The program will be implemented in two phases and guided by a set of principles including preventing displacement, advancing economic opportunity, providing transportation mobility and enabling equitable access for all communities. The first phase, due to be completed Aug. 30, would create the Equitable Development Initiative program, which would increase investment in communities that have been left behind by such injustices. The second phase, due to be completed in 2023, would set objectives, analyze data and monitor the program’s progress. Councilmember and Program Sponsor Rod Dembowski said in a statement that this legislation provides a new way of supporting communities when they need it the most and allows community members to have a say in how resources should be invested. This will provide opportunities for houses, jobs and community spaces.