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Park City Moving Along Through Social Equity Timeline

Park City Municipal and the Park City Community Foundation are forging ahead with their social equity efforts. 

To get everyone on the same page for the conversation around social equity, Park City Community Foundation Community Impact Director Ollie Wilder likes to break down the umbrella of social equity into three terms: diversity, equity and inclusion.

“Diversity, in a sense, is who's around us and what are the differences that they represent," Wilder said. "Inclusion asks the question, who has a voice? Who's actually participating in decision making? And then equity is, well, what actually happened? What are the outcomes? If there were disparities based on who people are, are those disparities getting smaller or being erased?”

The Community Foundation has conducted a community survey, a board diversity survey and listening tours with Park City councilmembers to determine what the key equity issues are affecting people in the community. They determined three that were most accessible to act upon: affordable housing, education with a focus on early childhood and inclusion.

Affordable housing is at top of mind—so much so, that it’s its own City Council critical priority, alongside social equity. It’s an issue that affects a wide range of people along the socioeconomic spectrum. Park City Budget Manager Jed Briggs says the City is trying to understand how that issue manifests itself throughout the community, so they can begin to address it.

“There's issues in terms of kind of the lower economic classes that we’re looking at, but the housing needs are kind of throughout the entire spectrum," Briggs said. "It's like, where do we want to focus, and where do we want to put the time and energy, because we talk about having a complete community, then that entails looking at housing and where the imbalances are. And right now, we see that and it's not just on the lowest economic spectrum, but there's a lot of different spectrums.”

Wilder says, for social equity issues such as housing, different organizations are already putting in work, including the City and Mountainlands Community Housing. What’s missing, he says, is making sure public officials know the community supports those efforts.

“When they start looking more broadly at, for example, more rentals or how do we solve more of a seasonal housing problem, that the community is right there alongside," Wilder said. "We're looking at getting businesses more involved in a proactive way. We're also looking at things like making sure that people know what affordable housing opportunities are out there.”

Wilder anticipates the social equity strategic plan will be delivered in August or September, after which the City will award a second round of special service contracts specifically addressing social equity issues. For those who want to weigh in on the topic, Wilder recommends contacting Park City Community Foundation Social Equity Director Diego Zegarra.

Emily Means hadn’t intended to be a journalist, but after two years of studying chemistry at the University of Utah, she found her fit in the school’s communication program. Diving headfirst into student media opportunities, Means worked as a host, producer and programming director for K-UTE Radio as well as a news writer and copy editor at The Daily Utah Chronicle.