County of Marin - News Releases - Equity Workshop

For Immediate Release
April 27, 2018

County, Community Take Hard Look at Equity

Board of Supervisors hosts public workshop on May 1

San Rafael, CA – Only 5 percent of Marin’s white residents live below the poverty line, whereas the percentage is much higher for other races. Median household incomes for African-Americans and Latinos is about half of what it is for whites.

The five members of the Marin County Board of Supervisors shown during a board meeting.The Board of Supervisors wants to hear from residents and community groups about effective ways to promote equity in all aspects of Marin life.
The County of Marin knows that there is not a one-size-fits-all solution to the inequity in Marin County. However, addressing equity and leveling the playing field is one of the top ongoing priorities for the Marin County Board of Supervisors. The topic will be the focus of a May 1 Board workshop at the Marin County Civic Center, and the public is invited to attend or watch a live telecast and webcast.

Starting at 9 a.m. in the Board chamber, County staff members from several departments will provide an overview of the County’s equity efforts and discuss a path forward to align community and the County around equity. Specifically, they will review the recent Race Counts analysis that ranked Marin as No. 1 among all 58 California Counties in racial disparity.

“I look forward to a robust discussion on some of the most difficult issues we face in Marin,” said Damon Connolly, President of the Board of Supervisors. “I know there are further opportunities for collaboration, which I hope will be identified by the public, nonprofits and our County departments. I welcome the public to share their ideas as we align our vision on equity and establish concrete steps to address inequities head on.”

To undo racial inequity, the County must take intentional actions. The County has singled out “Diversity and Inclusion” as a focus area in the County’s 5 Year Business Plan, adopted in 2015. The County enrolled two groups of employees in a race equity collaborative, Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE), and the employees attended conferences and training about working on equity within local government. In 2017, Marin was one of the first counties in California to adopt a Racial Equity Action Plan to set tangible goals and gauge progress on racial equity. Goals of the plan are to commit County staff to achieving racial equity, make the County an effective and inclusive government that engages the community, and make the County workforce demographics reflect the demographics of the community it serves. The plan clearly lays out requirements for success which include community partnerships, initiatives, metrics and deadlines in reaching equity goals.

As an additional part of the racial equity plan, the County implemented an eight-hour training program on cultural intelligence and structural racism for every employee, and it is well received thus far. Programs are underway to increase gender and ethnic diversity on hiring boards and to and to ensure that there is diversity in candidate pool, including openings for top administrators.

The rest of Marin appears on board with the improving racial inequity. A public forum in March, hosted by First 5 Marin and the Marin Communication Forum, was a robust discussion about the ominous and sobering Race Counts report. The event attracted about 350 people, including many County staff members.

“At the May 1 Board workshop, we’re looking forward to celebrating existing projects, having an honest conversation about the current state of equity in the County, and starting a process where we align equity partners to improve the conditions for all in Marin,” said Assistant County Administrator Angela Nicholson.

The workshop will take place in the Board chamber, Suite 330, of the Marin County Civic Center at 3501 Civic Center Drive, San Rafael. It will be webcast live through the County’s website and be televised live on Comcast Channel 27 for Comcast and AT&T subscribers. If you miss it, you can watch replay on TV or view the archived webcast anytime after May 3.

All public meetings and events sponsored or conducted by the County of Marin are held at accessible sites. If you are a person with a disability and require information or materials in alternative formats – or if you require accommodation to participate in a county program, service or activity – please contact department staff at (415) 473-7331 or (415) 473-4381 (voice/TTY) or e-mail


Angela Nicholson
Assistant County Administrator
County Administrator's Office

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite 325
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-4396
Email: Angela Nicholson
County Administrator website