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Park City Facilitator Kilo Zamora Talks About What Social Equity Is And What It Isn't

Social Equity maestro Kilo Zamora talks to KPCW about what social equity is and isn’t. Melissa Allison has more:

Latinos make up 25 percent of the population in Park City and about 80 percent of its workforce doesn’t live locally which raises the question, “How many would if they could?”

Add in the senior citizens center that is currently operating without a permanent home, the LGBTQ community, and parents - single and married- who need affordable childcare and you quickly realize that social equity isn’t as cut and dried as some might like to think.

To address the current climate of social equity in Park City, the city council has made it a critical priority and has enlisted the help of Kilo Zamora who has worked with the Park City Leadership program for more than 15 years.

Zamora, who lectures at the University of Utah, said each community’s definition and concerns related to social is different.

“On one hand people will take that term and think of it as, ‘It’s fun just for us to get along with one another,’ and others who spend time looking at more of a system wide approach begin to explore more of, ‘What’s going on with our policies and procedures?’" Zamora said. "And even when you get to that conversation folks see it kind of in different ways. On the one hand they want to make sure that their own rights are preserved while they’re trying to increase the pie for others. And yet another group is still wondering about, ‘If we pay attention to other, some group, will my group be forgotten in this conversation?’”

Zamora said at the end of the day, council in Park City is approaching it from a more inclusive angle.

They’re really looking at trying to have a holistic approach, has a positive impact on all of Park City to increase their wellbeing indicators," Zamora said. "So, when we start focusing on one specific group that means it will have a positive effect on all the groups in Park City.”

Zamora said wellbeing indicators show that there is good, safe and healthy transportation, good health care, great education for children and that there aren’t any food deserts in the community, to name a few.

“When you put them all together it increases the wellbeing of all of us," Zamora said. "But when we concentrate those great things on one community, it doesn’t affect us all so we have to find a way to spread across those resources in greater valley.”                

Zamora said social equity requires a balancing act of sorts that involves everyone.

“In the resorts case they know it’s hard to ski without good powder," Zamora said. "So to have great powder means we have to have a deep commitment to the environment to reduce global warming. And in small businesses know that they’re live next door to their neighbors. And for them to have great, successful businesses they need to sustain both the economic side of their companies but they also have to find a way to give back to their community. So when you put those kinds of values in a space like Park City, you have to find great balance between making money but also, taking care of your community. So, we’re really looking at some social responsibility in the economic field of Park City.”

Zamora will be back before council in August.

I’m Melissa Allison, KPCW News.