POL Government Elected Officials Commissioner Amanda Fritz Sick Time
Office of Equity Feedback

Equity Office Feedback – Summary by Judith Mowry, Office of Neighborhood Involvement


July 18, 2011


The following is a synthesis of the feedback received regarding the Equity office from the following sources:

  • Emails to Commissioner Fritz (approximately 65)
  • Public forum 5/18/11 on the Equity Office with over 200 participants
  • Minutes from meetings with City staff on the development of the office
  • Recommendations from community organizations
  • Creation Committee meeting summaries


This document focuses on feedback that addresses the role, structure and focus of the office. There is much more input that covers a wide variety of issues and ideas, including, but not limited to:

  • Examples of inequities
  • Ideas on approaches and methodologies
  • Suggestions for target populations, etc.


We will continue to catalogue this feedback for use as the process moves forward.


Common themes (received through all sources, repeatedly):


  • Lead with race
  • Include the Portland Commission on Disability
  • Start internally by addressing institutional inequities (clean the City’s house first)
  • Be transparent, data driven (measurements that matter) and employ existing best practices.
  • Coordinate with other established equity initiatives (county, health, schools, housing, other cities)
  • Accountability (includes transparency and consequences)
  • Work closely with the community
  • Need commitment and leadership from the “top”


Steps to building the Office of Equity:

  • Develop definition of equity
  • Internal assessment
  • Involve the 5 council members in assessing equity issues within their portfolio
  • Develop equity lens for use by all City bureaus, employees and delivery of services
  • Develop community messaging


Additional suggestions for functions to include in the Office:


  • ADA Title II Compliance
  • Civil Rights Title VI Compliance
  • Campaign to engage and educate Portland about equity


Suggested existing Commissions to be staffed by the Office based on community feedback:

  • Human Rights
  • Disability


Additional new Commissions were proposed by the Commission on Disability, to be potentially staffed by the Office of Equity:

  • Immigrant and Refugee Commission
  • Sexual Minority Commission
  • Homeless Commission