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MRSC Insight Blog

Posts for Inclusive Communities

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Building Trust During Polarizing Times

Distrust, misinformation, and polarization seem to be growing at the national and local levels. How can local government build trust to help dispel misinformation, reduce polarization, increase engagement, and maintain a healthy, engaged democracy?

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Active senior couple running outdoors in park along lake

Is Your Community Age Friendly?

What can planners do to make their communities more welcoming for residents as they age? Research shows that investments in transportation infrastructure, compact, mixed-use land use patterns that support walkability, and diverse housing options can help people age in place.

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Whatcom County Boosts Engagement Efforts to Build a More Equitable Advisory Board

In order to contribute to building the health and well-being of young children and their families, Whatcom County developed a diverse, community-driven Child and Family Well-Being Task Force through innovative policies and increased community engagement. 

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When Hate Comes to Town: Addressing Racist and Anti-Semitic Public Comment at Meetings

In recent months, some city council meetings have had their public comment period hijacked by bad actors whose purpose is to make hateful comments. Local governments have some options for minimizing the chance that their meetings are compromised in such a manner.

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A vendor stall at an outdoor market featuring produce, cut flowers, and potted plants

Planning for Local Food Systems: A Whatcom County Case Study, Part 2

After extensive planning and community engagement, Whatcom County is developing a comprehensive local food system plan. See Part 2 of the series on the plan's development and lessons learned.

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Many hands in a multitude of colors surround and stretch towards the earth

Centering Equity in Climate Plans and Programs

As new legislation (HB 1181) has added equity components to the Growth Management Act, it is essential to understand what climate equity means and how it is successfully being carried out by local governments across the state.

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A thermometer showing a temperature of 100+ against a background of an urban street

Protecting Communities When the Heat Is On

How can local agencies prepare for extreme heat events, including protecting those populations most vulnerable to heat-related illnesses and death? By looking carefully at how heat impacts various neighborhoods, an agency can take a variety of approaches to maximize services. 

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View of a little public park with trees and greenery along Seattle's city hall exterior

For More Equitable and Livable Cities, Consider Trees

As cities and other urban areas in Washington State continue to grow and change, an urban forestry management plan can provide a coordinated, long-term vision for managing the urban tree canopy to ensure the continued livability of local communities.

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A man is excited to have received a gift card

Safely Using Incentives in Public Engagement Activities

Can gift cards be given as an incentive for completing a local government survey? Can stipends be provided to volunteers participating in local government projects or advisory boards? With proper procedures in place, incentives can be a way to boost community participation.

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Equitable Community Engagement in Comprehensive Plan Updates

Many local governments are updating their comprehensive plans, and in doing so, some are looking at how to develop intentional strategies that actively engage underrepresented communities in order to build a more equitable plan update in the process. 

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Closed Captioning: A Language Access Tool

SB 5027, which passed during the 2021 legislative session, requires closed captioning be used on televisions in public places, including in local government-owned facilities, when the technology is available.

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives in Washington State – 2021 Update

This blog looks at the many ways that local governments can build diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in their communities by highlighting specific policy examples from across Washington State.

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Investing in Equity To Prepare for Environmental Challenges

Some Washington local governments have placed equity front and center when preparing for the impacts of climate change. This blog looks at efforts in Lakewood and Shoreline.

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Making Local Government Holiday Observances More Inclusive

The upcoming holiday season offers municipalities a great opportunity to tie their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts into holiday observances so that everyone feels part of the celebration.

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How Local Ballot Measures Fared in the 2021 General Election

From changes in governance to funding for criminal justice, libraries, and transportation, this blog covers many local ballot measures across the state and how these issues fared in the recent general election.

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The Lasting Impacts of Discriminatory Restrictive Covenants

This blog looks at discriminatory restrictive covenants in county real property records and how property owners may remove or "strike" them from the record. 

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Countering Racial Bias and Harassment Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic

This blog post looks at how local governments can counter racial bias and harassment that's arisen during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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Social Equity in Cannabis Program

This blog post offers an overview of E2SHB 2870, 2020 legislation creating a social equity in cannabis program for Washington State.

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Advancing Racial Equity at the Local Government Level

This blog post offers an overview of diversity and racial equity training options that local governments may wish to implement. 

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Efforts in Washington State

This blog post offers an overview of how some Washington State local governments have approached efforts to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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