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Josh Brown
Josh Brown 
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Want to keep up with what's happening at PSRC?  We invite you to sign up for email updates from Josh Brown, PSRC's Executive Director. 


Black lives matter

PSRC staff have been having a lot of discussions about racial injustice, equity and what our agency can do to support Black people in our region. I have prepared a statement that we’ve shared on our website. I believe we have a responsibility to examine and remove the inequities that exist within our agency and our work. 

Over the last year, a group of PSRC staff joined in a year-long training by the Government Alliance on Race and Equity.  This group is developing a series of sessions to engage all PSRC staff in discussions about how to move forward to accomplish our goals on racial equity. Expect to hear more on a regular basis going forward and we welcome your input.

 

Transportation Policy Board recommends project funding

illustration of Canyon Road Freight Corridor project
The board recommended $4 million for Pierce County's Canyon Road Freight Corridor Improvements project.

The Transportation Policy Board has recommended 128 transportation projects to receive a total of $549 million in PSRC funding through 2024. The Executive Board is scheduled to take final action on this recommendation on July 23. You can learn more about the process in this presentation and see the list of projects in the agenda packet (page 25).

 

Region adds 60,800 more people

The region gained about 166 more people per day last year. This is the slowest growth rate (1.4%) since the peak in 2015-16.  These estimates from the state’s Office of Financial Management were set on April 1, just a couple weeks after COVID-19 started affecting the region. The impacts of the pandemic and resulting economic slowdown will be reflected in OFM’s 2021 population estimates.

Chart - Annual Population Change in Central Puget Sound, 2000-2020

COVID-19 impacts on communities of color

The global pandemic has caused unemployment claims to surge in the central Puget Sound region. Data shows dramatic differences in COVID-19 impacts by race, both on health and employment. 

Statewide data shows that Black workers are filing unemployment insurance claims at a rate 23% higher than average and are contracting COVID-19 at a rate 50% higher than the statewide average. In contrast, white workers are filing unemployment insurance claims at a rate 24% below the overall population and are contracting COVID-19 at half the rate of the overall population.

Chart: Comparison of Unemployment Claims Rate vs. COVID-19 Rate

 

Webinar on prioritizing and budgeting for racial equity

An upcoming webinar presented by Governing for Racial Equity and Inclusion (GREI) will focus on how governments can prioritize investments to improve racial equity. This is a free 90-minute session that will be held online. You can register here.

I welcome your feedback on our work at PSRC. You can reach me at jbrown@psrc.org. Stay well!

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Newsletter Archive

Past Newsletters from Josh