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We celebrated the publication of our Transportation Equity Framework at a community event on June 29! 

Transportation Equity Workgroup members and SDOT staff smile at our recent community celebration event. Photo credit: Barbara Mendez. 

On Wednesday, June 29 SDOT’s Transportation Equity Workgroup members held a community celebration in Beacon Hill to commemorate the work that went into to completing and publishing our Transportation Equity Framework (TEF).  

Equity is one of SDOT’s core values and goals, and a top priority. Graphic: SDOT. 

Held at the Centilia Cultural Center, the TEW community celebration was a great experience for SDOT staff and TEW members to come together and share the framework with local community members interested in learning more. This was also a great way to celebrate the accomplishments made in the past year-plus to implement these strategies and tactics to SDOT’s work every day across the city of Seattle. 

Group of people standing and chatting in open space with people sitting at circular tables inside a white room with light brown floors and a projector screen playing videos in the background.
SDOT and community members chatting at TEF celebration. Photo credit: Barbara Mendez.

During the celebration, we set up five stations that highlighted two equity strategies and one prompt question based on a specific tactic so we could hear from community members and workgroup members about their experiences and what areas of improvement they would like to see as the implementation moves forward.   

Photo of person in a black shirt sitting at a circular table writing on a sticky note while looking at display boards highlighting TEF tactics. 
Photo of station at the event, with display boards highlighting different aspects of the TEF. Photo credit: Barbara Mendez. 

Over the course of the event, we highlighted the a series of videos introducing TEW members. The videos helped honor the achievements made through the Transportation Equity Framework and celebrated each workgroup member’s contributions.  

“I’m quite impressed by the progress made within this framework. Learning about the 6-year implementation plan for the equity framework and how it is moving forward is really impressive to see.”

– Niru, community member and non-profit advisor 

A special thank you to the efforts and continued commitment shown by our TEW members and the SDOT staff that worked on organizing this event. Our colleague Annya Pintak has been a major part of the TEF every step of the way, and we took a moment to present her with an award to share our appreciation for her unrelenting dedication and the many strides we’ve made to implement the framework’s vision for a more equitable transportation system in Seattle.  

SDOT colleague holding a bouquet of pink and purple flowers in a metal vase while another colleague holds clear glass award smiling. 
Annya Pintak receiving an award of appreciation and flowers from SDOT Interim Director, Kristen Simpson. Photo Credit: Barbara Mendez 

Who serves on the Transportation Equity Workgroup? 

The workgroup was established in early 2019 to seek input from a diverse set of community members representing Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities and other vulnerable and historically underserved communities. Each member of the workgroup is involved with local organizations in the Seattle-King County region and brings meaningful personal lived experiences and professional knowledge. This expertise has helped us to identify actions that begin to resolve transportation related challenges for underserved community members in Seattle. Hear their stories and meet the TEW members on our YouTube. 

Photo of eight people smiling and celebrating with fists in the air, surrounding a poster board with two TEF strategies. A brown building with large windows is behind them.
Transportation Equity Workgroup members smile alongside Annya Pintak at our recent community celebration event. Photo credit: Barbara Mendez. 

What is the Transportation Equity Framework? 

In partnership with the TEW, we co-developed a set of values and strategies outlined in the Transportation Equity Framework. Consisting of ten values important to our work and city with over 200 tactics that aid TEF’s strategies and goals, the TEF is an important tool that will help guide the actions of the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and our various programs, projects, practices, and initiatives – both today and for years to come. We have been actively working across our entire department to incorporate these tactics and continue to align with and advance these values in our work. View our interactive guide to learn more about TEF’s values and tactics. 

Graphic of eight blue circles each with one of the eight strategies inside, surrounding a large black circle with 2 fundamental strategy elements of community engagement and decision-making, transparency, and accountability in white text.
Graphic of TEF strategies. Credit: SDOT

Why the Framework is needed 

A history of racist policies and disinvestment has created inequities in our transportation system. The long-term impacts of institutional racism limit access to opportunities and wealth. As a result, many ethnically diverse neighborhoods, and low-income and vulnerable residents endure commutes that are significantly longer and more challenging. This is largely driven by displacement due to cost of living and access to affordable housing, as well as lesser access to high-quality transit service, among other factors. 

Institutional racism has influenced our transportation system, and we take our role in ending it seriously. Elevating community voices not traditionally heard in transportation policy and operations is a critical need. Here at SDOT, we will continue to strengthen and implement policies that provide equitable outcomes for our communities.  

We appreciate everyone who was able to attend the celebration and have dedicated their time to making this framework a reality. Thank you for reading and please stay tuned as we continue to integrate the TEF and equity as a central part of our daily work! 

Help us imagine the future of transportation in Seattle — visit our Seattle Transportation Plan Online Engagement Hub today! Graphic credit: SDOT