Texas City Drafts Budget to Funnel Funds through ‘Equity Lens’

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“Equity” is a term that means many things to many different people. For many Latinos, equity has been difficult to attain in many different areas. Healthcare, housing, education, and income are just some of the areas in which many Latinos face disparities and/or inequities.

However, the City of San Antonio, Texas (63.34% Latino population), has recently made the topic of equity an issue to be tackled by the city government. San Antonio City Manager, Sheryl Sculley, presented the 2018 city budget recently and it will be the first to use an “equity lens,” according to a story by The Rivard Report.

With the new equity lens, more city resources will be committed to areas and populations where the need is greater – often low-income and heavily Latino-populated areas that have long been neglected – instead of dividing them up equally among the city’s 10 council districts.

“Equity is the only antidote to inequality, and it improves outcomes for everyone,” said new Chief Equity Officer Kiran Kaur Bains to the City Council. “Equitable delivery of City services requires equitable community engagement, and equity impact assessment is both a process and an outcome. It’s the right thing to do for governments, and it’s also about effectively and efficiently delivering our services.”

The new city budget will increase spending on streets, public safety, and neighborhood improvements.

“Equity budgeting doesn’t necessarily mean taking funding away from one area or community and giving it to another,” Sculley said. “It’s more of a ‘funding shift’ to focus on those who need resources more.”

The new San Antonio city budget goes into effect on October 1, 2017.

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By The Numbers By The Numbers

37

Percent

of Head Start and Early Head Start participants are Latino.

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