Dear City team,
Director, City of Portland, Office of Equity and Human Rights
This has been a very divisive election season. It is now over and time to come together. The results of the presidential election have, however, created shock, fear, and anxiety among many City employees today.
There are folks who are saying, “Everything will be okay.” Their intentions are good, but the truth is, it does not feel that way for many employees. Please understand that many in the Portland community feel that they will be ignored, harassed, or marginalized just because of what they look like, what they sound like, what first language they speak, what headdress or clothing they may wear, what disability they may have, who they love, and how they may look at life in a non-corporate, non-business, humanistic way. Now, more than ever, we need to look out for and support our co-workers and recognize that while you personally may not have any concerns, others do. Please do not minimize their perspectives. We have to believe, and explain to our children, that hate and fear are not our allies. We have to be prepared to stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves.
Take time to breathe, reflect, talk with each other, respect each other, and re-commit to making this city, this state, and this country a better place for everyone. The Office of Equity will remain steadfast in its commitment to bringing greater equity to the City of Portland.
Peace and Blessings for all,
Dante J. James
Director, Office of Equity and Human Rights