Director Gilchrist Signs National Planning and Equity Commitment to Change

Date Posted: December 22nd, 2022 @ 1:27 PM
Last Updated: January 31st, 2023 @ 5:42 PM
Planning & Building Director William Gilchrist

With the support of the Planning & Building Department's Racial Equity Team, Planning & Building Director William Gilchrist has signed the national Planning Directors’ statement, Planning and Equity: A Commitment to Change. The statement, signed by other Planning Directors across the United States, acknowledges the role that planners and other government officials have played over our nation’s history in enabling systemic racism and segregation de facto and de jure. It commits to systemic change to create inclusive and diverse neighborhoods that equitably meet the needs of all residents.

This statement is consistent with the City of Oakland’s commitment to righting past and current wrongs that have led to the health, economic, educational and other disparities that are harming Oakland’s Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) residents today. That commitment is institutionalized in the Oakland Municipal Code as a commitment to integrate the principle of "fair and just" in all the City does in order to achieve equitable opportunities for all people and communities.

You can read the "Commitment to Change" statement to review the history where development practices have contributed to the displacement, segregation, and civic and economic disenfranchisement of BIPOC communities, as well as to learn about some of the corrective outcomes that we as a department are working toward:

  • Promoting public dialogue
  • Addressing biases in our organizational culture
  • Developing land-use strategies that promote the health, economic, social, and cultural resilience of BIPOC communities

Please visit the Planning & Building Department Racial Equity Team page for more information about how the Planning & Building Department is working to integrate racial justice into its planning and policy work as well as its internal practices and priorities.

Media Contacts

Portrait of Planner IV, Joanna Winter

Joanna Winter
Planner IV
Planning & Building

Dimitrius Brown
Code Enforcement Inspector, D1
Planning & Building Department