Metro Board Approves the Development of an Equity Platform Framework

Big News – Last week at the March 3rd Metro Board Meeting, the Board approved the Equity Platform Framework!  

This effort is being led by Metro’s Chief Planning Officer, Therese McMillan, and while it’s still somewhat nebulous as to what will come of it, the purpose and structure of the approach is outlined in these slides.

In laying out her approach, McMillan has outlined four pillars to the “multi-point equity platform”, including:

  1. Define and Measure a shared definition of equity that considers racial and socioeconomic historical and structural inequities, and seeks to preemptively consider impacts by defining metrics to evaluate outcomes;
  2. Listen and Learn from Angelenos by establishing forums for the community to meaningfully shape, define, and measure equitable outcomes;
  3. Focus and Deliver through the LRTP on Metro’s direct impacts (transportation plans, operations, and maintenance & investments) and indirect impacts (land use & displacement); and
  4. Train and Grow Metro Agency staff to evaluate equity and effectively communicate and collaborate with communities.

In other words, she aims to use a community-centered approach to develop an equity framework that shapes the spending priorities in the Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) Update, and future Metro plans, in order to address disparities in access to opportunity.

Those disparities are yet to be defined, as are any potential approaches to address them. Widespread outreach efforts are meant to determine what those areas of focus should be. The exact shape and form of those outreach efforts is yet to be announced, but it’s something that we’re tracking closely and will update you on ways to get involved as soon as we’re aware of them.

To get ideas flowing of the types of topics that could be taken up by such an equity framework, we wanted to share a couple of discussion points brought up at the last Metro PAC meeting. Attendees discussed the frequency of racial profiling while using public transit, and McMillan stated that their would be efforts to address this in the framework. Also, our EnviroMetro Equity Survey results (which there’ll be a longer blog post about soon), point towards the need for improvements to the bus network and bus infrastructure .

In the months ahead you will have the opportunity to help shape the Equity Framework, so start brainstorming what you would like to see included!

As Therese McMillan stated when presenting the Framework, “None of this is easy, and all of it is worth it.”