Race and Social Justice Initiative in Action at SDOT!

The Race and Social Justice (RSJ) Change Team’s mission is to provide leadership and oversight under the guidance of the City’s RSJ Initiative so that SDOT can successfully eliminate institutional racism within departmental practices, policies, programs, and procedures.  One of the Change Team focuses is community engagement.

In 2010, the team had many accomplishments. Some of these are working to provide better customer service to Seattle residents. For example, we continued training staff on various ways to reach the limited English-speaking community more creatively and effectively; and developed performance measures to help the department meet goals of inclusive outreach. These strategies are being piloted with the Mercer West Project.

This year, the change team has been working with the Seattle Office for Civil Rights (SOCR), the Courts and Seattle Police Department (SPD) to perform Scofflaw outreach. Scofflaws are people who have four or more unpaid parking tickets. Over 25,000 vehicles have four or more unpaid parking tickets, despite being provided multiple opportunities to dispute the tickets and/or be setup with a time-payment plan. In an attempt to minimize impacts to vulnerable populations, several presentations have been made to social and health providers and we are posting information in community centers, food banks and hygiene centers. The scofflaw information is being translated into five (5) languages commonly requested for interpretation within the court system: Russian, Spanish, Amharic, Chinese and Vietnamese.

SDOT will also be out in the community this summer: marching in the Pride Parade (Sunday, June 26, Downtown Seattle), at the Hispanic Seafair Festival (Sunday, July 31, Seattle Center) and hosting Summer Streets in Greenwood (Friday, August 12) and Rainier Valley (Saturday, August 20).

We hope to see you there!