Citywide Equity Committee
General Meeting – Thursday August 2, 2012 9-11am
Location: Portland Building – Fir Creek Conference Room
Attendees – Emily Rice, Kyle Diesner, Dora Perry, Delphine Kennedy-Walker, Denise Kleim, Stacy Dunn, Afifa Ahmed-Shafi, Dennis LoGiudice, Stephen Bouffard, Theresa Green, Susan Bailey, Kate Allen, Diane Avery, Danielle Brooks, Ronald Lilienthal, Carolyn Quan Lee, Jenny Martinez, Tanya Stephens, Amy Archer, Abby Coppock, Julie Morrow, Kathy Kakesako, Daire Elliott, Muna Idow, and Dante J. James
Director Dante welcomed committee members and stated that he would like the CEC to convene in City Hall’s Lovejoy or Rose room or OEHR’s meeting space for now on.
Then he shared the following updates:
- OEHR is expected to be fully staffed by middle of September 2012 including a position that will staff the CEC
- OEHR presented its one-year work plan to City Council
- Dante asked City Council for 10 hours per month from CEC members and proposed a CEC Executive Equity Team comprising of Bureau Directors and senior staff from City Council members that would meet quarterly and work alongside the CEC
- Dante plans to meet with the Mayor and each Commissioner to share more about the CEC structure and how the 10 hours per month are expected to be spent
- Dante will deliver a 90-minute Equity Presentation and Jack Graham, (Chief Administrative Officer) will present demographic info at the Bureau Directors’ Retreat in September
- CEC Executive Equity Team is expected to meet for its first meeting in November 2012
Dante also stated some City practices can create climate and culture that perpetuate lack of inclusion and that he would like to hear from CEC members about positive as well as negative practices in their respective bureaus.
After this initial sharing, Dante proceeded to respond to questions on CEC leadership, vision and goal, role, relationship to OEHR, and how the CEC will be different from the CDC.
Leadership – Dante will be leading the CEC
Vision – CEC will be responsible for assisting the City in changing the way it does business.
Goal – CEC will assist bureaus as they roll out best practices through presentations, documents, strategic plans, and training.
- Role of the CEC is to weigh in and help to institutionalize equity and equitable practices.
- CEC representatives have always been liaisons for Strategic Plan
- CEC will make presentations to City Council
- Dante would like City Council to see the CEC as a strong, functioning body; especially, given that most bureau directors do not know about the CEC’s work and that of their staff
- Dante stated that although the CDC used to do the Affirmative Action Report, he believes that the Bureau of Human Resources (BHR) should do the report since it collects the data. Dante also shared that there was an ongoing conversation about this with BHR.
- CEC member’s position will be elevated through development of equity development templates.
- CEC will provide expertise in developing an Equity Development Template.
- CEC will review Bureau Equity Plans and make recommendations.
- CEC may also review Equity Plans from bureaus outside of those selected. OEHR would select 4-5 bureaus preferably one from each City Council member.
CEC Relationship to OEHR
- The CEC is under OEHR, staffed by OEHR, and it is work is funded by OEHR.
- Support and promotion of the CEC will come from OEHR.
- CEC members will be trained by an outside firm or group on institutionalizing equity.
- OEHR will plan (with input from the CEC) and pay for a retreat including a training for CEC members.
- Some members asked about the idea of asking all City bureaus to contribute to OEHR’s budget regarding the institutionalizing of equity – given that the CEC’s work ultimately benefits all City bureaus.
How the CEC is different from the CDC
- Dante shared that the CEC would be different from the CDC in its structure, membership, expectation of members, and selection of members.
- Some members stated that there was a huge disconnect between the CDC and Bureau Diversity Committees. And, that having a clear Strategic Plan would help in holding bureau directors accountable on equity.
- Other members shared their need to have the role of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) representatives clarified; especially since some individuals had not received any training; while others were trained too long ago – in some case seven years prior.
- Members also discussed the challenges in getting people to volunteer to track Affirmative Action numbers and that it is significant burden for the few who sign up for this task which can take up to 10 hours per month.
- Members also requested establishing open communication lines with bureau directors so that they receive feedback from the CEC about progress on equity.
- Members also discussed the need for the CEC to focus its work on institutionalized racism; and that simultaneously tackling issues such as disability would be a distraction.
DEEP – Dante stated that DEEP executive committee members had their quarterly meeting with Commissioner Fritz and had formally asked Dante to take over the responsibility for planning cultural celebrations. Some members requested a larger discussion about this. Dante committed to having this on the agenda for the September meeting.
Diversity versus Equity
- Dante explained that Diversity is the “who’s who?” and Equity is the “what’s what?”
- Dante also shared that Diversity is to Desegregation what Equity is to Inclusion.
- Diversity is how we change numbers for example in employment.
- Equity is a broader expectation of change through outreach, contracting, hiring and firing, creating opportunities for communities, and mentorship for diverse staff.
Meeting notes sent by Muna Idow 8-16-12