Richfield kicks off new year with equity assessment

Richfield, Minn. (February 7, 2024) – How do you set goals without understanding the context for a project? You establish a baseline. Last month, the city received its results from the 2023 Racial Equity Dividends Index (REDI), establishing a baseline for internal equity work moving forward.

“The results shows that our city is making progress towards becoming more equitable,” acknowledged Brittany Bartlett, Equity Coordinator. “I’m impressed with our staff’s dedication to this work and the high scoring programs and initiatives that were recognized during this process.”

The REDI, designed by the Center for Economic Inclusion (CEI), is designed to support local governments in their efforts to build racially equitable workplaces and communities. This voluntary, 67-question evaluation was completed by staff during the summer of 2023. More than 20 other cities and counties from Minnesota also participated.

Once tallied, Richfield performed favorably, especially when compared to peer-sized organizations. Overall, the city was in the 64th percentile for all participating organizations, and in the 83rd percentile when compared to other cities with less than 75,000 residents.

“I appreciate how this report is showing us how we compare to other cities and also gives us a sense of how we are doing overall,” reflected councilmember Ben Whalen. “Are we doing enough? This report suggests we aren’t, but it offers hope that we can keep working towards our goals and building on what we are currently have in place.”

The assessment looked at the city’s policies and procedures in ten categories. The categories are: leadership; hiring; culture, retention and advancement; procurement; budgets and finance; community and economic development; workforce development, housing, transportation and land use; public safety; and public policy.

Richfield was considered a High Scoring Organization in the category of Public Safety due to well-established policies around crisis response, use-of-force and data collection. The REDI report recommended the city focus on areas of culture, retention and advancement, procurement and budgets and finance.

“This is only the beginning,” acknowledged Bartlett, “but with the help of this assessment, we can begin prioritizing our work to make progress on these goals for the organization.”

Learn more about the REDI assessment and recommendations here.