top of page
Center for Economic Inclusion Logo

Breakout Session One- Advancing Local and State Policy for an Equitable Economy

What is equity? How does it intersect with policies that build an equitable economy? What is an equitable economy? The question of equity spans across federal, state, and local governments. There is an increasing consensus that something should be done to create an equitable economy, and many ideas have proliferated. This breakout session will focus on defining equity, an equitable economy, and discuss a few policies across the nation that aim to create more equitable outcomes. We will also briefly touch upon some of the challenges to building an equitable economy faces. 



  • What is equity? How is it defined in different places at different times?

  • How does equity and policy intersect?

  • What are some of the policies that municipalities and states are pursuing to create more equitable outcomes?

Presenter: Isaac Russell, Director for Public Policy, Center for Economic Inclusion

Isaac Russell brings nearly 10 years of legislative and policy leadership to his position as the Center’s Director of Public Policy. In this role, Isaac develops and leads the Center’s public policy strategies and objectives to close racial wealth gaps and catalyze an inclusive and equitable economy. He builds the internal capacity of the Center’s team to influence local, regional, and statewide public policy, and leverage external coalitions and partnerships to the same end. Isaac is responsible for advancing policy change at the state and municipal levels.


The Director of Public Policy, in partnership with Systems Innovation team, will conduct research and analysis on critical sector issues; develops and implements a strategic policy agenda that advances CEI’s mission; builds and directs strategic, well-designed advocacy strategies that incorporate public education, policy change, and building and mobilizing support for policy initiatives, including through coalitions and alliances.


Isaac served as a Legislative Assistant in the Minnesota State Senate from 2013 to 2022. During his legislative career, Isaac worked for several State Senators, including the former Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee and former Senate Minority Leader Susan Kent. These positions allowed Isaac to work on wide array of public policies, including commerce, education, and economic development. Isaac also gained a deep understanding of the legislative process, the politics of public policy, and the hard work it takes to pass quality legislation. Prior to his legislative career, Isaac learned about the challenges small businesses face during his tenure as a project manager for an industrial flooring company.


Isaac received a double major in Political Science in History from the University of Wisconsin at River Falls, where he was both a Ronald E. McNair and Ralph Bunche Summer Institute scholar. Isaac later received his Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs, where he advanced his skills of multi-disciplinary policy analysis, policy research, and political analysis.


During his free time, Isaac has served on the Minneapolis Redistricting Advisory Group, Neighborhood Community Engagement Commission, the African American DFL Caucus Executive Board, and currently serves as Vice Chair for Senate District 63.

Photo of Isaac Russell
bottom of page