Across our land, regressive individuals and coalitions are actively seeking to deny historical facts and push our country backward in time to an era when discrimination was the widely accepted norm. Part of their focus is on eliminating public and private efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. Unfortunately, Clackamas County is not immune to this threat. Commissioner Mark Shull has proposed eliminating the county budget for DEI work and stated, “I do not support any allocated funds to support equity, inclusion and diversity.” Commissioner Ben West has stated his belief that diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts create a “victim mentality” and tend to be “something that does not bring our county and local communities together but … divides it.”
At stake is the Clackamas County Equity and Inclusion Office, whose mission is to lead “a culture of learning and awareness of equity and inclusion by guiding, supporting and collaborating with employees and residents in order to foster welcoming communities, and create greater connections where all people thrive and belong.” Emmett Wheatfall, former head of the office, has already raised his voice against this destructive defunding effort.
The Civil Rights Movement spearheaded decades of progress in allowing all Americans greater access to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. These gains are now under threat nationwide and in Clackamas County. Silence in the face of these regressive efforts is tantamount to support and acceptance. Make your voice heard. Contact our commissioners.
Board of County Commissioners https://www.clackamas.us/bcc