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City of Akron Responds to Racial Equity and Social Justice Taskforce Recommendations


City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of City of Akron Press Office
Published: 12-01-2022

Akron, Ohio, December 1, 2022 — Today, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan has published the City’s responses to the Racial Equity and Social Justice (RESJ) Taskforce recommendations which were received earlier this year. The recommendations focus on six key areas: Equitable Workforce Development and Job Creation, Criminal Justice System, Health Care/Public Health, Housing, Education, and Communications. See the full response here.

The RESJ Taskforce made a total of 117 recommendations that touch nearly every facet of city operations. The City identified 92 recommendations to incorporate into government policy and practice. Of those, 43 have already been implemented or are already practiced. The City has firm plans to work towards the remaining recommendations in the coming years. The City’s response outlines timelines for each of these. The City found 25 recommendations either unsustainable or unrealistic to implement at this time, but will keep them in mind for future opportunities. The City has responded to each of the 117 recommendations and has provided an explanation in the response.

“These recommendations are the result of 14 months of research, discussion, and hard work on the part of the RESJ Taskforce members, and they have laid the foundation for important and necessary change here at the city,” said Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan. “I firmly believe that acting on these recommendations is just the first step. We will continue to listen, learn and work towards sustainable solutions to create a more equitable city for all. I once again thank all the members of the Taskforce and city staff for their dedication to this process.”  

In June of 2020, Akron City Council, with support from Mayor Dan Horrigan, declared racism a public health crisis. Within Akron City Council’s declaration was a call for the establishment of a Taskforce assembled for the purposes of developing a pro-equity strategic plan responsive to this crisis.

The RESJ Taskforce began its work on November 10, 2020. Their recommendations for policy change to create a more racially equitable, socially just community were outlined in a five-year Strategic Plan, which was delivered to the Mayor, City Council, and the community on February 28, 2022.  See the Strategic Plan here.

After receiving the Strategic Plan, the Mayor’s office put together a team to review and issue a response. The team spent the next 6 months meeting with each department in the City and every Cabinet member to discuss all of the recommendations specific to their work. They determined which recommendations the city planned to incorporate. They also worked to review and research the feasibility of the suggested timelines and estimated funding allocations necessary to implement these changes.

The implementation timeline for recommendations by year can be found at the end of the City’s response here.

For further information, contact:
Stephanie Marsh
Chief Communications Officer
Phone: 330-375-2754
E-mail: [email protected]

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