Since Mayor Adams announced a major initiative to create an Office of Equity in his State of the City speech in February, he and I have been working diligently with interested community members to determine the scope and initial work plan of the new City bureau. We held a community forum attended by over 200 people in May, held multiple meetings with City staff and community stakeholders, participated in four day-long "Leaders Dialogues", and have been collaborating with about 30 stakeholders in a "Creation Committee" that has met every two weeks for several months, to scope what is already being done and what more is needed to achieve equity and eliminate disparities in City government work, and throughout the region.
Not everyone shares in the riches and opportunities offered in Portland. Disparities are not only still present, but also they are worsening. Inequity hurts us all. It hurts business vitality, hurts our economy, hurts our neighbors, hurts our community.
The problem is clear. The need is urgent. The time to act is now.
The Public Review draft of the Ordinance to estabish the rationale and purpose for the Office of Equity is here. The draft Initial Work Plan is here.
Please send comments and suggestions for amendments to Sara Hussein in my office, by noon on Monday, August 29. Sara will also be happy to add you to the mailing list fo this initiative on request.
The Public Hearing asking Council to adopt the proposed Ordinance will be Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 at 6 p.m. in City Council chambers, 1221 SW 4th Avenue. Please attend and voice your opinions.