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MEDIA ADVISORY: Public invited to pro-equity anti-racism listening session

Listening session to focus on barriers to public access and participation 

LACEY, Wash. - The Utilities and Transportation Commission is inviting members of the public to attend a virtual listening session on Thursday, July 28 to discuss barriers to accessing UTC services.

UTC staff will lead a virtual-only listening session, and participants will discuss the following questions:

  • What are the biggest barriers to participating in commission proceedings or accessing commission services?
  • How can the commission remove these barriers?
  • Are there any community groups or advocates we should be reaching out to?
  • Would you be interested in participating on the UTC’s PEAR Team or external PEAR Team Advisory Group?

The listening session is part of the UTC’s work to integrate pro-equity anti-racism (PEAR) principles into all that we do.

WHAT

Virtual-only public listening session

WHO

Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission

WHEN and WHERE

July 28, 2022

2-4 p.m.

Participate by Zoom (encouraged if possible).

Participate by phone. Call 253-215-8782 and use Conference ID 861 3412 0932# with Passcode 060300#.

Translation services are available at no cost to you. If possible, please inform the commission at least one business day before the meeting by calling 360-664-1140, or by emailing paige.doyle@utc.wa.gov.

If you need a reasonable accommodation to attend the meeting, please contact the UTC at least one business day before the meeting by calling 360-664-1132 or emailing human_resources@utc.wa.gov.

Anyone unable to attend can answer the questions in an online survey.

BACKGROUND

In April 2020, Gov. Jay Inslee and the Legislature established the Office of Equity (RCW 43.06D.020) to promote access to equitable opportunities and resources; commit to be an anti-racist government; and report the effectiveness of agency programs on reducing disparities using input from the communities we serve. This year, Gov. Inslee issued Executive Order 22-04, requiring the Office of Equity to develop a Pro-Equity Anti-Racism (PEAR) Plan and Playbook. In his order, Gov. Inslee also required all state agencies to implement the PEAR plan and playbook.

This listening session is one step the UTC is taking under that playbook to evaluate the commission’s processes and procedures to identify barriers to public participation and equity gaps at the UTC. The UTC will use this feedback as it develops its own UTC PEAR Strategic Action Plan.

The UTC will also be forming an external PEAR Team Advisory Group and is seeking external partners who are interested in becoming members.

The UTC regulates the rates and services of the state’s investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities, landline telephone companies, solid waste haulers, private water systems, and residential movers among other industries. The agency also manages the state’s pipeline, railroad, and intrastate bus and trucking safety programs. 

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Topic(s)
Consumer
General