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File #: 2022-1554   
Type: Consent Calendar Item
Body: City Council
On agenda: 1/18/2022
Title: Recommendation to Authorize the City Manager to Execute an Agreement with SEED Collaborative, Inc., to Assist the City with the Development of a Citywide Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Plan for an Amount not to exceed $275,000 Including a 10% Contingency. (Human Resources 10025060) [Not heard on January 4, 2022]
Attachments: 1. Exhibit 1 - Agreement, 2. Correspondence

Title

Recommendation to Authorize the City Manager to Execute an Agreement with SEED Collaborative, Inc., to Assist the City with the Development of a Citywide Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Plan for an Amount not to exceed $275,000 Including a 10% Contingency. (Human Resources 10025060) [Not heard on January 4, 2022]

 

Body

 

To: Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

At the July 28, 2020 City Council meeting, City Council adopted a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis. This resolution included direction to staff to develop initial and ongoing actions to address this crisis. 

 

In August of 2020 the City Manager appointed a Steering Committee to take the lead in developing a community-led process and work plan to address the future of policing and systematic racism in Alameda. The Alameda City Council, at its March 16, 2021 meeting, unanimously approved moving forward on a series of police reform and racial equity based on recommendations from the community-led committees. The City of Alameda (City) has successfully implemented a number of these recommendations and continues to focus on the completion of the remaining items.

 

During this period staff have also continued to work on the development of a comprehensive Citywide Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Plan (DEIB) for the City. The City joined the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) and has been participating in their events and trainings.

 

While GARE has been an excellent resource for the City, staff determined it was important to identify additional resources to assist in the development of a DEIB plan and to facilitate conversations both with staff and the community.  Staff believe it is important that these conversations be led by others outside of the City organization to eliminate any perception or perceived bias on the part of staff. 

 

Staff reached out to municipal agencies within northern California to obtain recommendations on organizations and individuals who could support the City in this important work. The City received recommendations for ten different firms.  Staff reached out to these organizations to learn more about their approach and availability. At the conclusion of this research staff found SEED Collaborative Inc. to be the best qualified and worked with them to develop a scope of work that would meet the needs of the City. SEED Collaborative is a California-based consulting firm focused on sustaining community-aligned organizations. They are currently working with the cities of San Leandro and Santa Rosa on their DEIB work. Staff are now recommending the City enter into an agreement with SEED Collaborative, Inc. (SEED) for a not to exceed amount of $275,000.  This amount includes a 10% contingency.

 

BACKGROUND

 

In July of 2020, City Council adopted a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis.

 

This declaration recognizes that racism causes persistent discrimination and disparate outcomes in many areas of life, including housing, education, employment and criminal justice and can be a social determinant of health, including possible worsened health outcomes. The resolution also acknowledges that communities of color and specifically Black communities have borne the burden of inequitable social, environmental, economic, and criminal justice systems and that the legacy of these inequitable systems has caused deep disparities, harm, and mistrust and that racial equity is only realized when race can no longer be used to predict life outcomes.

 

One of the actions, in response to this crisis is the development a Citywide Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Plan. The goal of this plan is to foster and provide a safe and inclusive workplace for employees and to ensure support for diversity, equity, and inclusion is integrated into decision making, planning and implementation throughout all structures, services, policies, practices and procedures.

 

DISCUSSION

 

SEED Collaborative Inc. (SEED) supports organizations that are working to create equitable and sustainable communities using the concept of “Targeted Universalism”.  Targeted Universalism entails establishing a universal goal and recognizing that to accomplish that goal, we must acknowledge that, as a result of structural inequities, different groups of people are situated differently within society.  As a result, there will be different pathways of reaching the agreed upon goal.

 

SEED was co-founded by John A. Powell and Paul Hudson in 2013. Mr. Powell is the Director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society and Professor of Law, African American, and Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley, and is currently the Director of the Othering and Belonging Institute. Mr. Hudson is the former Chairman and CEO of Broadway Federal Bank, a bank holding company founded in 1946. Broadway Federal Bank is a leading community-oriented savings bank in Southern California serving low-to-moderate income communities. Mr. Hudson has also served on the Board of Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Los Angeles Housing Authority and has served as the President of the Los Angeles NAACP.

 

Proposed Scope of Work

 

SEED will begin their work with interviews, surveys, focus groups, and a review of City policies and procedures to understand the landscape of the City and the way in which City services are provided. They propose to conduct individual interviews with the Mayor, City Council members, senior staff, union representatives, line staff and other internal and external stakeholders.

 

SEED will also conduct surveys to allow for a larger sampling of individuals and stakeholders regarding attitudes, beliefs, and opinions on the impact of identity on the work of tthe City. Their work will also include focus groups to allow for more in-depth conversations to give different segment groups the opportunity to share input together, such as people of color, union representatives, LGBTQ staff and community, people with disabilities, residents, and community organization representatives.

 

Once the initial assessment is complete, SEED will assist the City with forming an Equity Work Group  (EWG).This group will review and discuss the due diligence findings, and discuss and decide on structural, policy and practice recommendations.

 

SEED will provide ongoing consultation, on an as needed basis, to the City’s executive leadership team, regarding the application, interpretation and communication of issues related to equity, Targeted Universalism, and belonging. They will serve as a thought partner with the City’s executive leadership team and the Chief of Police to respond to community interactions, employment barriers and opportunities, and to develop and support proactive actions, strategies and solutions.

 

Finally, SEED proposes to prepare a City Equity Plan (Plan) that includes the due diligence findings and analysis and EWG approved recommendations. The Plan will include:

 

1.                     Assessment - A discussion of the assessment of organizational practices, policies, culture, operations, and structures.

 

2.                     Recommendations and Strategies - Recommendations and strategies will include:

o                     A statement of agreed upon universal goal, including a public Equity Statement;

o                     Targeted strategies to meet the specific needs of critical segment groups that align and drive towards the universal goal;

o                     Prioritize recommendations and strategies regarding recruitment, hiring, development, promotion and retention, and allocation of resources to support change, among others;

o                     Strategies to foster collaboration, advance equity, and monitor compliance;

o                     Policies/Practices that include Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; and

o                     Training.

 

3.                     Community Engagement - Recommendations will include ways in which to promote transparency, encourage engagement and generate buy-in. This section will include steps to ensure community engagement with the Plan and will suggest and support communications regarding the Plan.

 

4.                     Implementation - The Plan will include a work plan and timeline for next steps in implementing the Plan. It will also include systems and tools to monitor compliance with the Plan, evaluate performance, and make course corrections.

 

Although work around equity and race is an on-going effort, it is expected that the beginning of this    dialogue and formal portion of this work will take approximately one year and the full development of the plan will take approximately 26 months.

 

ALTERNATIVES

 

Staff recommends that the City Council approves and authorizes the consulting services agreement with SEED Collaborative, Inc.

 

The City Council may also consider:

 

                     Revisions to the proposed scope of work that reduces the financial impact and/or works to meet City goals and objectives for a citywide Equity Plan; or

                     Reduce the contract by eliminating 10% contingency; or

                     Research and consult with other equity firms further; or

                     Not Approve the contract

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

The cost of this proposal is not to exceed $250,000, plus expenses for a total of $275,000 including a 10% contingency. The funding for this agreement was included in the Fiscal Year 2021-2022 budget.  SEED will bill the City based on actual hours worked. The hourly rate will be $104-$500 hourly based on the consultant.

 

MUNICIPAL CODE/POLICY DOCUMENT CROSS REFERENCE

 

This action is in conformance with the Alameda Municipal Code and all policy documents.

 

CLIMATE IMPACTS

 

There are no identifiable climate impacts or climate action opportunities associated with the subject of this report.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

 

This action is not subject to environmental review as the activity is not a "project" for purposes of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) because it is an organizational or administrative activity of the City that will not result in direct or indirect physical changes in the environment, in accordance with CEQA guidelines, section 15378(b)(5).

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

Authorize the City Manager to execute an agreement with SEED Collaborative, Inc., to assist the City with the development of a Citywide Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Plan for a not to exceed amount of $275,000 including a 10% contingency.

 

CITY MANAGER RECOMMENDATION

 

The City Manager requests the City Council’s authorization to execute an agreement with SEED Collaborative in the development of a Citywide Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Plan.

 

This work would be working to achieve one of the goals the City Council set in action in Spring, 2021.  I anticipate the work within this scope occurring over two years.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Nancy Bronstein, Human Resource Director

 

Financial Impact section reviewed,

Jennifer Tell, Principal Financial Analyst

 

Exhibit:

1.                     Agreement

 

cc:                     Eric Levitt, City Manager