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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 1331, Portland, OR 97204

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Racial Equity Toolkits


What is the City of Portland's Racial Equity Toolkit (RET)?

Racial equity tools are designed to integrate explicit consideration of racial equity in decisions, including policies, practices, programs, and budgets. It is both a product and a process. Use of a racial equity tool can help to develop strategies and actions that reduce racial inequities and improve success for all groups. Simultaneously, use of racial equity tools incorporates new processes of decision-making and participation that build community capacity, foster meaningful engagement and genuine participation in the decision making process, and delivery of service that better represents communities’ needs and priorities. Institutionalizing the use of the RET results in governance structures that are more equitable, accountable, and transparent; and produce racially equitable outcomes.

The toolkit is designed to:

•Ensure that government actions and decisions are crafted to achieve truly equitable outcomes,

•Engage communities of color in decision-making, understand the root causes of existingdisparities and how the City’s actions can make these better (or worse)

•Use data to identify current racial disparities and those most impacted by our actions

•Identify inequitable consequences or burdens on communities most impacted,

•Identify needed strategies and resources to ensure equity in our actions and decision making.

•Identify how progress on racial equity will be tracked and measured over time, and how toreport back to stakeholders

This RET is Portland’s first attempt to structure a racial equity analysis tool outside of the budget process. The RET structure and process will improve over time.

Our goals for this first iteration are for an RET that:

• Builds on those existing tools currently in place

• Provides a foundational framework for bureaus to modify if necessary

• Is simple, effective, and immediately usable

Use of an RET is an important step to operationalizing equity; however, it is not sufficient by itself. We must have a much broader vision of the transformation of government in order to advance racial equity. To transform government so that it benefits all, we must normalize conversations about race, operationalize new behaviors and policies, and organize to achieve racial equity.

This manual provides background, instructions, definitions, and considerations as you work through the process to finalize a racial equity analysis. In the appendix you will find a worksheet to complete that captures your research, analysis, and findings. The worksheet will ultimately help you articulate a proposal for change.

PBOT's Use of the Racial Equity Toolkit

PBOT is currently using the toolkit to do an equity audit of seven of our programs and policies:

  1. Hiring Process
  2. 823-SAFE Hotline
  3. Leaf Day Program
  4. Social Media Protocol
  5. Community Events and Block Parties
  6. Taxi/TNC Permit Process
  7. Curb Ramps by Request Program

All seven toolkits are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017, so that process improvements can be implemented in 2018.