The City of San Antonio’s mission is to deliver quality services and commit to achieve San Antonio’s vision of prosperity for our diverse, vibrant, and historic community. The Office of Equity works across city departments and with community partners to maximize the City’s impact towards San Antonio’s vision of prosperity.
We aim to normalize concepts of social and racial justice within city government; organize staff around advancing equity in their Departments, and operationalize equitable policies, programs and procedures within city government.
Four annual goals currently drive the Office of Equity’s work:
- Advance equity in budgeting, community engagement, and high priority service delivery
- Build awareness and involvement in the office through transformational community engagement
- Collaborate with other institutions to achieve San Antonio’s vision of prosperity
- Improve services for community members submitting discrimination complaints
Equity means that our policy-making, service delivery, and distribution of resources account for the different histories, challenges, and needs of the people we serve. Racial equity means we eliminate racial disproportionalities so that race can no longer be used to predict success, and we increase the success of all communities.
Cities are equitable when all residents – regardless of their
race/ethnicity, nativity, gender, income, neighborhood of residence,
or other characteristics – are fully able to participate in the city’s
economic vitality, contribute to the region’s readiness for the
future, and connect to the region’s assets and resources. (Source:
We set goals and measures to track our progress, with the recognition that strategies must be targeted to close the gaps.
Equity differs from equality, which treats everyone the same despite disparate outcomes.
The long-term impact of the work of the office is three-fold:
- City services will make the greatest impact towards San Antonio’s vision of prosperity;
- The City will actively foster a mission-driven culture, aligning everyday work with the core values of professionalism, integrity, teamwork, and innovation; and
- Residents will increasingly trust that the City is responsive and accountable to the community
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer + Communities
As part of the City's commitment to equity and inclusion for everyone, the Office of Equity works closely with Ivalis Meza, the Senior Policy Advisor, Deputy Communications Director, and Liaison to the LGBTQ+ Community in the Office of the Mayor. Staff from the Office of Equity participate in the Mayor's LGBTQ Advisory Committee, and continue to collaborate on events in the LGBTQ+ communities.
Government Alliance on Race and Equity
The Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) is a national membership organization for jurisdictions committed to advancing equity. The City joined the network in 2017 as a Core Member. What this means is that our policy direction will align with their directives and we will adapt to different strategies coming out of national best practices around advancing equity.
Why Lead With Race?
"The Government Alliance for Race and Equity leads with race, with the recognition that the creation and perpetuation of racial inequities has been baked into government, and that racial inequities across all indicators for success are deep and pervasive. We also know that other groups of people are still marginalized, including based on gender, sexual orientation, ability and age, to name but a few. Focusing on racial equity provides the opportunity to introduce a framework, tools and resources that can also be applied to other areas of marginalization. This is important because:
To have maximum impact, focus and specificity are necessary. Strategies to achieve racial equity differ from those to achieve equity in other areas. “One-size-fits all” strategies are rarely successful.
A racial equity framework that is clear about the differences between individual, institutional and structural racism, as well as the history and current reality of inequities, has applications for other marginalized groups.
Race can be an issue that keeps other marginalized communities from effectively coming together. An approach that recognizes the inter-connected ways in which marginalization takes place will help to achieve greater unity across communities.
It is critical to address all areas of marginalization, and an institutional approach is necessary across the board. As local and regional government deepens its ability to eliminate racial inequity, it will be better equipped to transform systems and institutions impacting other marginalized groups."
For more information about GARE, please see their website.