Thank you. This will not fail. We cannot fail. Our future depends on it. The prosperity of our city and wealth of our citizens depends on it. There have been so many attempts in the past to address the known disparities that have grown over centuries and this is an action oriented specifically looking to get results with actions. We have 19 actions from the March Portland plan, we have another 14 from the latest draft, and 13 principles in the draft work plan. That's just a start before we hire an expert director. We'll do a nationwide search for that. The committee will reconvene to start work on that. We share your urgency, commissioner Saltzman, we cannot wait for these changes to be seen and experienced in our neighborhoods. Diversity is something that you see but inclusion is something that you feel, and there's a lot of people who do not feel included in our city.
So I -- I started last night devising a list of people to thank and quickly realized I would miss somebody out and there's been so many people who’ve been involved on so many levels that I’m not going to name any particular person. There's the community members, the City staff, the creation committee and consultants, thank you all. Each one of you who came today to support this work. We can't do this without you. This is one of the differences between this work and what has been done before.
It's a partnership. It's a collaboration. And it's a partnership and collaboration with people who don't inherently trust each other because we have experienced such hurt and such damage and we're not where we want to be to start off with. So we recognized that six months ago, and I recognized I was going to say things in a way that would make people mad and I would then learn because people would be kind and tell me. I don't think you meant that, but this is what I heard. We'll keep doing that. And we have to keep doing that.
"Portland polite" has been the norm for so long that we don't talk about racial injustice and injustice for people with disabilities. We shy away from that because many think we're doing just fine, thank you. We're not doing just fine, thank you. And the future of our city, the prosperity of everyone, including the suits, and I have to mention that I’ve been married it a man who often wears suits. It's his birthday today. So maybe if I can be forgiven for the number of hours I don't get to be at home, that is appreciated. But the men who hold high places must be the ones to start to build a new reality closer to the heart. And that's what we're seeing today.
The men on the city council are partnering with me: the woman, the immigrant on the council to forge this new reality, just as the founders of our nation started out by saying that all men are created equal, and yet the men had to vote to give women the vote, and the white man voted to pass the civil rights act, and those without disabilities voted for the Americans with Disabilities Act. This is how we build community. This is how we become the America that I chose to move to. So that everybody can experience the American dream. And this office has been disparaged as not being specific enough and not needed - a waste of money.
There's no more important use of taxpayers’ money than making sure that everybody has access to a good job and everybody has services in their neighborhoods and that people's services are just as much services as putting in streets, although while we're at it, let’s make sure that we put in streets where needed and that different neighborhoods have the services they need. This office is going to be helping to guide, educate, direct and provide accountability to give the feedback to the city bureaus to start off with, leading with race and ethnicity and also focusing on people with disabilities. That's our charge for the first year.
We’re not going to have a massive turn-around in the first year, but we are going to have some specific measurable products we'll bring to council on a regular basis because we all share the urgency, we cannot wait to make these improvements. This has been a difficult process and again, I laud everybody who has put their personal needs and personal opinions aside to look to the common good. And to dare to hope that this could be different. This could be the work that we could join in together that would get Portland over the hump to be not only the most sustainable city in the country but the most just and the place where everybody feels welcome and businesses move here knowing their employees and CEOs would feel welcome here because it's a society where everybody feels they have access to opportunities.
A few months ago, Commissioner Fish invited me to the opening of Bud Clark commons, which is a beautiful $49 million building, and I was very happy to support the provision of services for people who live outside and the coordination of services for people who need a little extra help and I thought at the time certainly my first term at city council, I’m not going to be opening a $49 million building. And this isn't the opening of anything. This is the design work.
All of us figuring out who needs to be at the table and put out the requests for proposals for the director and figuring out how to move forward. Proposals for the director and figuring out how to move forward and I envision getting to a building, a building of community, a building where we feel we've been heard and our needs are met and we can do that within five years, I believe, because the need is so urgent and the skills of the folks here and the skills in the community, there's so much support for this and if you are watching at home, haven't heard that, haven't experienced that, go talk to your neighbors.
Talk to people who might be able to give you a different perspective, and listen. That's a lot of what this is about. Listening to each other and recognizing we don't have all of the answers. If someone did, I’d have a beautiful 20-point list for you that we could get done by next week. That’s not what we’re doing here. We’re building the house of community together. So thank you to my colleagues on the council for supporting this. Thank you, Mayor Adams, your leadership and insistence we do this differently and in a data driven way and based on research. Thank you to the communities of color and the urban league for providing some of that data. This and better we'll do. Thank you so much. Aye.