CITY OF PORTLAND CIVIL RIGHTS TITLE VI PLAN
Binding City Policy
Section 1. The Council finds:
1. Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act provided ground breaking protection from discrimination in federally funded programs, services and activities based on a person’s race, color or national origin. Over time Title VI and related statutes have been expanded to address discrimination based on age, sex, disability and limited English proficiency.
2. The City of Portland, as a recipient of federal funding, is subject to Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
3. By Executive Order, President Clinton in 1994 extended Title VI to include the obligation to identify and address disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of government programs, policies and activities on minority populations and low- income populations. This component of Title VI is known as “Environmental Justice”.
4. Portland City Code section 23.01.010 expressly provides that it is the policy of the City of Portland to eliminate discrimination based on race, religion, color, sex, marital status, familial status, national origin, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or source of income. Such discrimination poses a threat to the health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of Portland and menaces the institutions and foundations of our community.
5. On May 6, 2009, Council by Ordinance 182745 adopted and implemented the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation Title VI Civil Rights Program and directed the Office of Management and Finance to complete a Civil Rights Title VI Program citywide.
6. On September 14, 2011, The City of Portland created the Office of Equity to ensure that everyone has access to opportunities necessary to satisfy essential needs, advance their well being, and achieve their full potential.
7. On April 25, 2012 by Resolution 36918 the City of Portland adopted the Portland Plan as a strategic plan to guide future to City decisions. In that Resolution, Council recognized that not all of Portland’s diverse individuals and communities have equitable access to opportunities to advance their well-being and achieve their full potential. The Portland Plan has an understanding that advancing equity must be at the core of our plans for the future. The Portland Plan includes A Framework for Equity to guide plan implementation and improve City operational and business practices, support actions that promote accountability, close disparity gaps and increase community engagement in civic activities.
8. The Portland Plan’s Framework for Equity calls for implementation of a citywide Civil Rights Title VI Program as a key tool to ensure that all Portlanders can meaningfully access City programs, services and activities.
9. The City is a leader in adopting principles of public involvement that strive to engage interested and affected persons in the decision making of the City. In 2010, by Resolution 36807, Council adopted City of Portland Public Involvement Guidanceand Principles, including “Inclusiveness and Equity: Public dialogue and decision-making processes identify, reach out to, and encourage participation of the community in its full diversity. Processes respect a range of values and interests and the knowledge of those involved. Historically excluded individuals and groups are included authentically in processes, activities, and decision and policy making. Impacts, including costs and benefits, are identified and distributed fairly.”
10. The City Council now wishes to adopt the City of Portland Civil Rights Title VI Plan, in a form similar to the Plan attached as Exhibit A, to ensure that the City’s programs, services and activities are accessible to all persons; that all persons are able to participate in public processes and decision making, including persons with limited English proficiency; and that negative impacts do not disproportionately fall on persons of color or low income communities. The Civil Rights Title VI Plan will enable the City to identify and remove barriers to full access, to track the necessary data to ensure that benefits and burdens are equitably distributed and to promptly investigate and correct violations if they occur. The Civil Rights Title VI Plan will also enable the City to meet the needs of LEP persons, through the development as appropriate of City wide or bureau specific LEP plan(s).
NOW THEREFORE, the Council directs:
a. That the Title VI Program Manager work with City bureaus to determine whether the City’s LEP obligations are best met by a City-wide or by bureau specific LEP plan(s) and develop and implement such plan(s) accordingly.
b. The Chief Administrative Officer is authorized to adopt rules, procedures and forms to assist in the implementation of the Title VI Plan.
c. That the Title VI Program Manager in the Office of Management and Finance provide a triennial report to City Council on the implementation of the Title VI Plan, in accordance with federal reporting.
d. That the Title VI Program Manager post the City’s non-discrimination policy and notices prominently to the public understand the civil rights protections.
e. The ordinance is binding City Policy.
Link to Exhibit A - City of Portland Civil Rights Title VI Plan (PDF Document, 1 MB)
Ordinance No. 186101, passed by City Council June 19, 2013 and effective July 19, 2013.