Since 2014, the SODO BIA has worked to advocate for a Safe, Clean and Moving SODO for its property owners, businesses, tenants, employees, patrons, and those living within the district. In our ongoing dedication to this mission, we acknowledge that our community members of color and other marginalized populations within our business community have and continue to face differential experiences, impacts and needs within the district. As a steward of the neighborhood, the SODO BIA deliberately commits to embedding an equity lens within the scope and role of our organization to work towards creating an inclusive SODO for all and embracing the diversity and differences that make us a vibrant business community.
Over the course of this year, the SODO BIA Board and Staff have worked to improve our critical awareness around equity and explore how – within our organizational mission – we should act to best affirm and support those most impacted by the disproportionate impacts of systemic racism. To strive towards this goal, we seek to:
- Acknowledge, affirm and represent the contributions of the Indigenous Cosalish people who have come before us and the culture of the Indigenous communities here now.
- Create a culture of safety, affirmation, and inclusion across the SODO BIA board, leadership, staff, ratepayers and volunteers such that all groups feel supported and respected.
- Embrace and support visible storytelling opportunities featuring the diverse representation within the SODO business community.
- Embed race and social equity into the organization’s strategic planning process to outline shared language and equitable outcomes that are clear, measurable and rooted in local issues.
- Recruit bard members and staff in a manner that is inclusive and accessible.
- Build deliberate partnerships with Black, Indigenous and People of Color-led organizations working to support diverse workforce development opportunities within the district.
- Leverage our existing relationships and resources with partner organizations working to elevate the needs, concerns and aspirations of disenfranchised communities.
- Be transparent with the public about the work that we are doing and continually evaluate our progress.
We acknowledge that we are on ongoing process of learning and as we continue to reflect on our position and the privilege we hold as a place management organization, we will update these commitments. The commitments shared in this document will also be incorporated into the SODO BIA’s procedures and policies manual. We look forward to working closely with our community to support and help evolve these efforts.