The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners has retained a strategic consultant to develop an equity profile for Hillsborough County that will be used to inform strategic equity spaces including, but not limited to, income bias, economic opportunity, health care, criminal justice, housing, land use/zoning, transportation, food security, and educational access/the digital divide. Additionally, the resulting profile and data will be used to guide the design and implementation of an “equity lens” through which actions taken by the County are examined to assess and measure questions of equity.
At the 6/16/2021 BOCC meeting, the commissioners awarded MGT of America, LLC a contract for $141,452.00, with change orders approved up to an additional $25,000, to create a Hillsborough County "equity" profile.
On December 17, 2021, Hillsborough County posted this notice on the County's website asking residents to weigh in on "Equity". The county commission wants County processes, procedures, policies and spending be implemented through an "equity" lens.
The County does not define "equity" nor inform county residents that "equity" means equal outcomes. The County obfuscates "equity" with making "quality of life improvements in the areas that impact your daily life including healthcare, housing, food security, economic opportunity, transportation, criminal justice, land use/zoning, and improved access to the internet."
Equality does not equate to Equity so where did the "Equity" agenda come from?
Equality is an American concept, ideal and value enshrined in our Constitution that focuses on equal rights of the individual.
Today's "Equity" ideology in the US, like the Critical Race Theory indoctrination, grew out of academia in American Universities and our higher education system. The Equity ideology uses a distorted fixation on oppression and conflict that we see today as the widespread "Woke" movement of identify politics, victimhood and cancel culture.
Decades later, University graduates carried the "Equity" ideology into the Arts, Entertainment, Media, Government, Public Schools, Corporate HR departments and Boardrooms and now even the Military.
Minneapolis lawyer Scott Johnson, a fellow at the Claremont Institute and a Founder of Powerlineblog stated "Equity requires the authorities to determine who gets what according to the race, the ethnicity or other status of the beneficiaries. It is updated Marxist claptrap in which race replaces class."
Equity demands that groups, not the individual, have comparable outcomes.
The Fifth Amendment has an explicit requirement that the Federal Government not deprive individuals of "life, liberty, or property," without due process of the law and an implicit guarantee that each person receive equal protection of the laws.
The Fourteenth Amendment explicitly prohibits states from violating an individual's rights of due process and equal protection. Equal protection limits the State and Federal governments' power to discriminate in their employment practices by treating employees, former employees, or job applicants unequally because of membership in a group, like a race, religion or sex. Due process protection requires that employees have a fair procedural process before they are terminated if the termination is related to a "liberty," like the right to free speech, or a property interest.
In addition the 13th, 14th and 19th Amendments also empowers every individual citizen with their God-given rights, independent of race, sex, or any other difference.
The US Constitution does NOT promise or guarantee equal outcomes. Dividing Americans into groups with unequal outcomes results in endless claims pitting groups against each other.
The "Equity" agenda sees America as competing groups that need leveling not individuals seeking equal opportunity. Equity "leveling" requires coercively redistributing resources by ruling class arbiters.
Today the Left is attempting to redefine Equality as Equity in the American lexicon.
But even VP Kamala Harris tweeted last year there is a "big difference between Equality and Equity". "Equitable treatment means we all end up in the same place."
|VP Kamala Harris Tweet Nov. 2021
Lefty Andrew Sullivan responded to Harris's Tweet stating "That’s equality of *outcomes* enforced by the government. They used to call that communism."
The "Equity" agenda requires a ruling class to implement unequal treatment trying to achieve equal outcomes. It requires coercion and government forced discrimination. It ignores Martin Luther King's dream:
Interestingly, Hillsborough County taxpayers already fund administering the County's Diversity Advisory Council (DAC) to "facilitate communication between County government and its diverse population."
We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by their character.
The DAC is a large Council of 22 members that meets monthly and consists of 2 appointees from each of the following categories: African-American, Caribbean, Far East Asian, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender, Hispanic/Latino, Indian Asian, Middle Eastern, Native American, Norther & Southern European, People with Disabilities and 2 At-Large with no specific category required.
The purpose of the DAC is to "ensure that the diverse needs and ideas of Hillsborough County residents are identified and communicated to [County] government".
What exactly has the DAC been doing for the last decade? Because now with so much "free" ARP money thrown at the County, the County uses more taxpayer money to hire an equity consultant.
Implementing county policies, procedures, etc. thru some "equity" lens will be costly to taxpayers. Attempting to create "equal outcomes" with everything the County does, touch or pay for could explode the cost of County government because equal outcomes can never be totally satisfied. And it will require a growing and costly government bureaucracy as it will not not be unpaid "council" members tracking and monitoring everything, it will be highly paid bureaucrats.
Prior to implementing any "Equity agenda, Hillsborough County must provide the following to its residents, all published on the County's website.
- Cost of the "Equity" agenda in both today's cost and future costs (at least 5-10 years out)
- Cost/benefit analysis with success/failure factors
- Clearly defined metrics and goals
- Mechanism or way to back out
- Agree to Publicly review quarterly or annual metrics
- Agree to Publicly review annual cost/benefit analysis
- Agree to once or twice year public discussion whether to continue the agenda
There is an irony to this county commissions "Equity" agenda.
All five Democrat Tampa Centric county commissioners supported the very inequitable and unlawful 2018 All for Transportation (AFT) rail tax boondoggle.
AFT forced taxpayers in unincorporated Hillsborough to pay for costly rail in Tampa while unincorporated got little to no funding for new road capacity unincorporated desperately needs.
The same Tampa Centric Five Democrat commissioners are now pushing to put another $18 BILLION rail tax for costly Tampa rail on the November ballot.
Maybe that's why the County never defines "Equity".
Hillsborough residents can weigh in by emailing their comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org