Follow the links below to navigate the Oakland Equity Indicators website.
Oakland has a long history of activism around issues of inequity and social justice. It is, therefore, not surprising that Oakland was chosen in 2017 to be among the first cohort of five cities to develop local Equity Indicators tools in partnership with the City University of New York’s Institute for State and Local Governance (CUNY ISLG) and with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation. The project began as a joint effort between the Resilient Oakland Office and the Department of Race and Equity. It has resulted in a product that will be useful across City departments as we strive to advance equity by using strategies determined through an intentional focus on racial and ethnic disparities and their root causes.
In Oakland, the City defines equity as fairness. It means that identity—such as race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation or expression—has no detrimental effect on the distribution of resources, opportunities and outcomes for our City’s residents. One key assumption in our work is that race matters, and this assumption is supported by the data: almost every indicator of well-being shows troubling disparities by race. The purpose of Oakland’s Equity Indicators Report is to develop a baseline quantitative framework that can be used by City staff and community members alike to better understand the impacts of race, measure inequities, and track changes in the disparities for different groups over time. This framework can then be used to guide and inform policies that address these disparities.
The Oakland Equity Indicators framework is structured at four levels: Citywide, Theme, Topic, and Indicator. The Citywide framework consists of six Themes that cover broad areas of people’s lives: 1-Economy, 2-Education, 3-Public Health, 4-Housing, 5-Public Safety, and 6-Neighborhood and Civic Life. Within each Theme are four Topics, for a total of twenty-four Topics in the whole framework. Topics allow the broad Themes to be discussed and analyzed at a more detailed level. Within each Topic are Three Indicators, for a total of twelve Indicators per Theme and seventy-two Indicators in the whole framework. Indicators are the specific quantifiable metrics that are used to measure equity within each Topic and Theme. Click here to see the full framework structure.
Every Indicator receives a score, which is created by calculating the ratio between the outcomes for the least and most advantaged racial/ethnic groups (for exceptions, see Methodology). This ratio is then converted to an Equity Score using an algorithm developed by CUNY ISLG. Scores are on a scale from 1 to 100, with 1 representing the highest possible inequity and 100 representing highest possible equity. Scores for Topics are calculated by averaging the three Indicator scores within each Topic, and Theme Scores are calculated by averaging the four Topic Scores within each Theme. Finally, the Citywide score is calculated as the average of the six Theme scores.
It is important to remember with this scoring system a high score indicates high levels of equity, not necessarily overall quality of outcomes. If everyone is doing poorly in a particular area but doing equally poorly, that area would get a high equity score, but that does not indicate that outcomes are as good in that area as we might ultimately want them to be. Additionally, low scores mean there is a lot of inequity, but do not directly measure whether the outcomes for the groups are objectively good or bad. This equity baseline measurement can, however, inform our choices and policies so that as our City grows and prospers, all residents are able to benefit from that prosperity.
Website Structure and Instructions
The Oakland Equity Indicators website is structured based on Theme and Topic. For each Topic webpage, we provide the three Indicators and their corresponding chart/data that result in the equity scores. You can select View Source Data on the corresponding Indicator’s dataset to read more about what data was measured and to see where the data originated from (e.g. American Community Survey, 1-year PUMS). Selecting the View Source Data option also allows you to create custom visualizations based on the data provided.
Years are listed for each data input to capture when the information was collected or examined. Providing this information will become valuable in future years as the City and community can then track progress for each Theme, Topic and Indicator. For all datasets included in this study, only one reporting year is listed to mark the first year of the report.
You may notice charts on this website are organized differently than in the report. This is due to the system used to build the website and is not indicative of changes to the data that comprise Oakland’s 2018 Citywide Equity score.
The Oakland Equity Indicators website is built within the existing structure of the City’s Open Data Portal. Follow the site directory links at the top of the page to see more City data or to learn more about the functionality of this website.
City-wide Result 33.5
Oakland’s 2018 Citywide Equity score, which encompasses all Indicators in the framework, is 33.5 (out of 100), demonstrating substantial room for improvement. Click here to see the full framework with all the scores. The highest scoring Theme was Neighborhood and Civic Life (50.6), followed by Economy (41.8), then Housing (36.8), Education (29.0), Public Health (25.8), and the lowest scoring Theme was Public Safety (17.3).
The five highest scoring Topics throughout the framework were Civic Engagement at 75.0 (within the Neighborhood and Civic Life Theme), Job Quality at 51.7 (within the Economy Theme), Employment (also within Economy) and Affordability (within the Housing Theme) both at 49.0, and Staffing (within Public Safety) at 48.3.
The five highest scoring Indicators were Equal Access Accommodations at 100 (within Neighborhood and Civic Life Theme: Civic Engagement Topic), Adopt a Drain at 80 (within Neighborhood and Civic Life: Civic Engagement), Homeownership with Mortgage at 78 (within Housing: Displacement), Life Expectancy at 77 (within Public Health: Mortality), and tied for fifth highest scoring were Labor Force Participation (within Economy: Employment) and Participation in Workforce Development Programs (within Economy: Job Quality), both at 72.
There were 12 Indicators that received the lowest possible score of a 1 indicating the most extreme levels of inequity exist between groups for these measures. They were (in the order they appear in the Framework) as follows:
These are significant findings, with potentially profound life changing impacts, disproportionately being experienced by our residents of color. In light of the City of Oakland’s commitment to equity, they provide meaningful markers of the greatest opportunities to make a difference for those in our marginalized communities.
Publishing this first year’s Equity Indicators Report is important because the information positions the City to use data to drive equity outcomes, but it is only a small step in a much larger effort to address these inequities. To complement this quantitative baseline, the Department of Race & Equity is also working with community partners to gather qualitative data from diverse community members in Oakland. This will provide important context and insights into the root causes of these disparities and meaningful solutions to the problems illuminated in the Equity Indicators Report.
Data-informed, transparent community involved decision-making is essential to transformational institutional change that will advance equitable outcomes in our communities of color.
The City of Oakland is energized to keep building on the foundation of this report, to promote dialogue with Oakland’s diverse communities, and to develop policies, programs and partnerships that reduce these inequities, so we build a future where every Oaklander can thrive.