At its January 17, 2023, meeting, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted to approve a resolution identifying social and racial equity as fundamental values for Loudoun County government. The resolution in part, calls for the county to promote fairness and justice as it develops and implements its priorities, policies and programs. The resolution also calls for a collaborative effort among community partners to intentionally promote equity.
“We brought this resolution forward because we want to make sure that as we conduct county government business, we do so in a way that invites voices and talent from various perspectives and life experiences,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis J. Randall. “This effort directly impacts only the county government but invariably could positively benefit every resident of Loudoun County. I appreciate all of the feedback of Board of Supervisors received, regardless of their position. As it says in the resolution, we will continue to strive to ‘ensure a more prosperous, accessible, livable, sustainable, and equitable future for all county residents.’"
Chair Randall, Sterling District Supervisor and Board Vice Chair Koran T. Saines, and Algonkian District Supervisor Juli E. Briskman co-sponsored the resolution. The initiative is the Board’s latest action seeking to eliminate social and racial disparities within Loudoun County. The Board previously established the county’s Office of Equity and Inclusion and hired the county’s first Chief Equity Officer in July of 2021.
“This Board has demonstrated its commitment to eliminating social and racial disparities and to looking at our work through an equity lens by providing resources needed to advance these efforts,” said Supervisor Saines. “This resolution also acknowledges the county’s past participation in segregation that resulted in lasting inequitable social and economic impacts on communities of color.”
As a result of the Board’s action, the county will:
- Provide an annual report to the Board of Supervisors on the county’s equity initiatives.
- Present to the Board a framework and Equity Plan for Loudoun County that identifies objectives for making and assessing progress on addressing social and racial inequities.
- Develop an implementation plan that outlines how an equity lens and tools will be used to embed equity principles in the county’s work. Identify within each county department an analysis to be used in decision-making.
“The vote on this resolution is an important step to assure the thousands of county employees and all the people we serve that their government holds equity as a fundamental value,” said Supervisor Briskman. “This resolution will inform the county’s decisions as we work to promote a more prosperous, accessible, livable, sustainable and equitable future for all county residents.”
The resolution identifies a number of commitments, including:
- Establishing a shared understanding of the term “equity” and related terminology.
- Continuing to promote equity through educational opportunities and policy and eliminating barrier based on race, ethnicity, general, sexual orientation, age and other factors.
- Looking at the county’s routine business and operations through an equity lens.
- Analyzing data to identify areas where disparities and gaps in service exist.
- Developing an equity framework that eliminates disparities.
- Combating racial, religious, ethnic, disability, gender identity, and national origin-based harassment and all other forms of unlawful discrimination and to ensure equal opportunity, equity, inclusion and dignity for all throughout county government.
The full text of the resolution is posted on the county’s website. Video of the Board’s discussion and vote on the resolution also is posted online.
To learn more about the county’s Office of Equity and Inclusion, visit loudoun.gov/equity.
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