City Services

Addressing racial equity took priority in 2022

January 10, 2023

Russell City mural

From exploration of the fairness and effects of past decision-making to how core municipal resources are deployed today, the City of Hayward in 2022 sought to elevate racial equity in how it operates as a local government.

In June, the City began the Russell City Reparative Justice Project, designed as a community-led initiative to explore, document and recommend reparative responses to the forced relocation of residents of Russell City in the early 1960s.  The residents, primarily African American, Latinx and other People of Color, were pushed out to make way for annexation and redevelopment of the area, once part of unincorporated Alameda County.

The Project began with City-led outreach to inform and involve former Russell City residents and their descendants, followed by an election among former Russell City residents and descendants to form a Project Steering Committee to lead the work.

Also in 2022, departments of City government gathered data and piloted initiatives to begin to close gaps and reduce disparities in access to Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and involving City services ranging from public safety to household waste disposal.

Among programs to come out of this work is an HPL partnership to put mobile hot spots and tablets in the hands of more residents. Through another, called Disposal Days, the City’s Maintenance Services Department is providing residents in high-density neighborhoods additional ways to get rid of household debris safely and legally free of charge.