Katie Cristol is chair of the county board in Arlington, Virginia. When she became an E Pluribus Unum Fellow, her county government was already pursuing racial equity. They’d passed an “equity resolution” committing to end local disparities, and set a framework for moving forward. Their county vision statement called forth a “diverse and inclusive world-class urban community.”
At the same time, Cristol was hearing from local leaders of color about inequities within the system of county government itself. If Arlington’s government wanted to address racial equity, then they needed to take a close look at their own work.
“We needed to start making some systemic changes—not just tinkering around the margins or introducing new programs or initiatives, but rethinking how we’ve always done things,” Cristol explained.