Code of the District of Columbia

§ 2–1471.02. Establishment of the Office of Racial Equity.

(a) There is established an Office of Racial Equity ("Office") within the Office of the City Administrator. The purpose of the Office shall be to coordinate the District's efforts toward

achieving racial equity.

(b)(1) The Office shall be headed by a Chief Equity Officer, who shall be appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the Council pursuant to § 1-523.01(a).

(2) The Chief Equity Officer shall be a full-time position, for which annual compensation shall be fixed in accordance with subchapter X-A of Chapter 6 of Title 1.

(c) The Office shall:

(1) Develop, provide oversight of, and advance the District's goal of achieving racial equity;

(2) Coordinate with the Office of Human Rights to produce racial equity training materials to be distributed to all agencies of the District government;

(3) Coordinate with Executive agencies in the development of annual metrics and a Racial Equity Action Plan or plans pursuant to subsection (d) of this section;

(4) Work with District agencies to promote inter-agency collaboration, problem-solving, and cooperation relating to achieving racial equity;

(5) Advise the Council, the Mayor, and District agencies about racial equity in the District, and recommend policies, programs, or regulations necessary to achieve racial equity;

(6) Develop and distribute information about racial equity, social justice, and economic inclusion;

(7) Promote educational activities that increase the understanding of racial equity; and

(8) Analyze the feasibility of expanding the Racial Equity Action Plan to include:

(A) The District's contracting and procurement process;

(B) The District's hiring and promotion process; and

(C) The development of effective systems to capture, coordinate, and share racial equity data across agencies.

(d)(1) By October 1, 2022, and annually thereafter, the Chief Equity Officer shall submit a multi-year Racial Equity Action Plan ("Plan") to the Mayor and the Council.

(2) The Plan shall be a formalized accountability plan, including specific timelines, to be used by each District agency to advance racial equity in the performance of its duties.

(3)(A) The Office shall hold a series of public engagement forums during formulation and updating of the Plan to obtain public and expert input on the contents of the Plan, including priorities for increasing racial equity in the District. The Office shall provide at least 15 days written notice in the District of Columbia Register of any such forum.

(B) Each public engagement forum shall be held at an accessible evening or weekend time and in an accessible location to maximize public participation.

(4) The Office shall take into consideration any comments submitted by the Racial Equity Advisory Board established pursuant to subsection (f) of this section.

(5) By October 1, 2022, and annually thereafter, the Office shall include in the Plan a report to the Mayor and Council on the Office's efforts to coordinate actions, goals, and District-wide investments within the Executive branch to further racial equity and provide a summary of the programs and activities of the Office and an evaluation of the District's efforts to achieve racial equity.

(e) The Office shall accept public comment on any aspect of its functions and on any policy or proposed policy of the District government relating to racial equity.

(f)(1) The Office shall establish a Racial Equity Advisory Board ("Board") consisting of 9 community members to provide to the Office ongoing input on racial equity in the District and to serve as a liaison between the Office and the public. The Board shall meet not less frequently than quarterly and shall keep minutes of its meetings that shall be made publicly available, upon request.

(2) Members of the Board shall be District residents and appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the Council pursuant to § 1-523.01(f), with due consideration given to individuals from established public, nonprofit, and volunteer community organizations, community leaders, academic institutions, and other individuals who have shown dedication to and knowledge of advancing racial equity or social justice.

(3) A member appointed pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection shall serve a term of 2 years. A member may be reappointed but shall not serve more than 3 consecutive terms.

(4) Individual members of the Board may be compensated for reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties.

(Mar. 16, 2021, D.C. Law 23-181, § 102, 67 DCR 14390.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) creation of, see § 102 of Racial Equity Achieves Results (REACH) Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2021 (D.C. Act 24-44, Mar. 24, 2021, 68 DCR 003448).

For temporary (90 days) creation of this section, see § 102 of Racial Equity Achieves Results (REACH) Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Act 23-521, Dec. 7, 2020, 67 DCR 14433).