The Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce held a virtual Economic Equity Taskforce on Friday, September 11. The meeting is meant to help black and Latinx business owners within the city of Elk Grove.
Economic Equity Taskforce
President of Cosumnes River College, Dr. Edward Bush, says inequities are often seen in criminal justice and in education. The economic inequity is often overlooked. So, the “hope of today’s meeting is for the board members to really hear from you,” Dr. Bush said. This is the first of many conversations. Small business owners and entrepreneurs were encouraged to share their thoughts, suggestions, and to simply be heard.
Task Force Goals
The task force has many goals.
The first goal is to try to create equity within the economic participation in our region. Additionally, this includes looking at the number of entrepreneurs or small business owners that are African Americans and Latinx. Therefore, the task force will begin by collecting data.
Secondly, the task force will try to eliminate barriers for small business ownership. For instance, by serving as mentors to aspiring business owners this would eliminate barriers to opening a business.
Chris Hoffman, superintendent of the Elk Grove Unified School District since 2014, spoke of what his district is doing to combat inequity. Fortunately, he has experience working with black and Latinx communities. In the meeting, Hoffman spoke of “Targeted Universalism.” Targeted Universalism is a way to bring equity to the students disproportionately targeted for minor infractions. Furthermore, Mr. Hoffman in particular spoke about the minority kids.
“There are very specific groups of kids, our African American kids, our foster youth, and our special needs students, specifically, that the data clearly shows that disciplinary practices are affecting them more dramatically. We sometimes shy away from calling out the out the individual targeted group, but we need to go deeper than that in this work.”
In 1996, California voters approved Proposition 209. Consequently, this amendment to the California constitution disallows local governments from targeting specific racial groups for economic or educational benefits. Generally, it is considered a controversial topic. In November, California voters have the opportunity to overturn Prop 209 with a Yes vote on Proposition 16.
Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce wants to work more closely with The Black and Hispanic Chambers to collect data and to benefit the black and LatinX small business owners.
You are invited to the conversation. The next meeting has not been scheduled yet. For more information, visit the website.
Next available events put on by The Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce:
Elk Grove Mayoral Candidate Debate – Tuesday, September 29th at 6pm
State of the County with Supervisor Nottoli & Dr. Beilenson – Wednesday, September 30th at 1 pm