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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

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1221 SW 4th Avenue, Room 110, Portland, OR 97204

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PBOT Equity Committee

Welcome to PBOT's Equity Committee!

We are a group of employees interested in leading social justice initiatives within the Bureau. The Equity Committee meets monthly on the first Tuesday of every month, from 9am to 10:30am, with meeting locations alternating between Maintenance Operations and the Portland Building.

The Equity Committee focuses on strategies to eliminate racism, sexism, ableism, classism, homophobia and other systemic oppressions.

All employees are welcome to apply to join the committee at any time. There is no deadline to apply, as membership is on a rolling basis, with selected employees committing to serve a two-year term.

Equity Committee Mission

To assist the PBOT Director and management in promoting the proactive reinforcement of policies, practices, attitudes and actions that produce equitable authority, access, opportunities, treatment impacts and outcomes for all by:

  • Evaluating progress towards the Bureau’s equity and diversity goals, and

  • Developing a strategy and collaboratively taking action to increase the bureau’s cultural understanding of how policies, procedures, and services may impact diversity and equity internal and external to PBOT.

  • To reduce barriers to inclusion in the organization and help PBOT employees succeed within the workplace,

  • Build relationships with diverse communities within and outside of PBOT,

  • Experience a workplace community where everyone feels valued and has the opportunity to be heard,

  • Understand and correct behavior and assumptions that impact a work culture aiming to be diverse and equitable.


A diverse bureau that models inclusivity and promotes equity through its service delivery, internal operations, organizational culture, and in its work with partners and the community.

Current Work

For 2017 the Equity Committee has been charged with overseeing and implementing the action items in the Racial Equity Plan under the training section. Read the full plan here. The committee has worked on establishing core Diversity, Equity and Inclusion competencies for all staff and leadership, and is currently working on a training plan for the Bureau. 


PBOT's Equity Committee often has sub-committees that include a variety of PBOT staff, many of whom are not on the Equity Committee. Sub-committees are open to all employees who are interested in the specific topic of the sub-committee and there is no application process! Simply connect with the employee who chairs the committee for more information about joining or sitting in on one of their monthly meetings:

1. HR and Hiring Sub-Committee - (2016 only)

2. Public Involvement Sub-Committee - Chair: Irene Schwoffermann

3. Racial Equity Plan Sub-Committee - Chairs: Raphael Haou and Zan Gibbs

Meeting Schedule

PBOT's Equity Committee meets on the first Tuesday of every month at 9am, alternating locations between the Portland Building and Maintenance Operations. All PBOT staff are welcome to attend a meeting as a guest to see what we are about! Come check out what we are up to!

History of PBOT's Equity Committee

A Citywide Diversity Development Coordinating Committee (CDDCC) was established in 2001 through the Diversity Development Strategic Initiative. Through that initiative all city bureaus were charged with creating a Diversity Development Coordinating Committee (DDCC) and completing action items from a Diversity Development Strategic Plan.

From 2005-2010 PBOT held representation on the CDDCC, created and operated the bureau’s own DDCC, while supporting and assisting in maintaining operation of the Culture Shapers group at Maintenance Operations.

In 2011, with the formation of the Office of Equity and Human Rights (OEHR), the CDDCC name was formally changed to the Citywide Equity Committee (CEC) and was reconfigured with new members through an application and interview process. The City’s move to focus on racial equity was established with the formal adoption of the Portland Plan.  City Council resolved to use the Portland Plan as the City's strategic plan to guide decisions and directing that all bureaus work with OEHR to incorporate the Framework for Equity into City practices.

In early 2012, the PBOT Bureau Diversity Committee changed its name and focus from diversity and cultural competency to equity in congruence with OEHR. The PBOT Bureau Equity Committee has been active from 2012-present with representatives from a number of divisions throughout the bureau. Two members of the committee are asked to sit on the CEC, represent the bureau and assist with intra-committee communications.



Per the Governance Document, the role of the PBOT Equity Committee is currently considered to be:

1.Making recommendations directly to Bureau Director for approval, and presenting those recommendations to Director and Management Teams as appropriate.

2.Creating the bureau’s Racial Equity Plan, and facilitating its implementation in collaboration with Management Team per a specified work plan.

3.Performing regular assessments of the bureau’s progress towards its equity and diversity goals, and providing that information to the bureau.

4.Promoting and assisting equal employment opportunity implementation within the Bureau.

5.Establishing a safe space to talk about privilege, racism, sexism, and homophobia within the workplace.

6.Serving as a resource for bureau projects.

Relationship to the Office of Equity and Human Rights

Every Bureau is charged with having a Bureau Equity Committee (BEC), which communicates and connects with the Office of Equity and Human Rights by way of the Equity and Inclusion Program Manager, if the Bureau has one, and directly via the Equity Committee Chair in when there is no Equity and Inclusion Program Manager.