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OBI’s work has focused on identifying and highlighting mechanisms of racial disparities in education, health, finance, transportation or other critical aspects of life. Equity Metrics has modeled this through data and help provide analytics to support OBI’s work. With multi-race as a major category in Census 2020, we observe racial disparities not limited to Black-white disparities but among other racial groups as well. Through our work, as showcased in other research buckets, we have analyzed many issues through a racial disparity lens, but we worked on directly measuring racial disparity and shared the methodology and the outcome. We are also looking at the fiscal disparities at the municipal and home ownership level by analyzing Proposition-13, the property tax measure implemented in 1978 which we believe has put undue fiscal burden on racial minorities and minority-majority jurisdictions within the state of California.

Some of the completed and ongoing projects in this area are:

  • Racial Disparities Dashboard: We observe racial disparities in almost all walks of life but we have not found a sound methodology that measures disparity in a simplistic and effective manner. We developed a methodology as a test case to measure Black-white disparity for the nation based on 15 key indicators of well-being such as Life Expectancy, The Racial Wealth Gap and Unemployment. These indicators reflect educational, health and economic outcomes by race, and build a dashboard focusing on absolute and relative disparity and progress. We are working on scaling the data so that all the disparities could be instantly compared, and readers could instantly and intuitively view the progress.
  • Analyzing Belonging in our Communities: In collaboration with RAND Corporation and Charles Kamasaki @UNIDOS, this project was conducted to empirically measure belongingness in our communities, to analyze the racial impacts of COVID-19, and to characterize how youth perceive and how youth-led efforts have adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic. This project was completed through four distinct phases. Our empirical research covered the first two phases and analyzed how neighborhood characteristics and approaches that promote belonging and inclusion may help to mitigate these differential impacts. Our approach combines empirical analysis, and applies the lens of racial segregation as an analytical framework to address disparities and explore belonging as an essential element of the solution.
  • Analysis of Proposition-13 (ongoing): We are investigating if Proposition-13, the property tax measure implemented in 1978, has put undue fiscal burden on people and municipalities within the state of California. The analysis may uncover patterns of fiscal burden on communities of color, and/or provide evidence of disparities in property tax payments by race.