Clackamas County recently announced the closure of our Equity and Inclusion office as of February 5. The two remaining staff positions in that office will move to other departments.
In response to this change, County Clerk Catherine McMullen has written: “Like many of you, I feel anger and a sense of loss with the announcement, even if it has been expected news for some time. The county’s ability to serve all Clackamas County residents will be diminished and our overall efforts to create a better, more inclusive community will be harmed. I do not agree with this decision and I will do my best as your independently elected County Clerk to minimize the adverse effects on my staff, on our most vulnerable communities, and our county as a whole. We are a diverse county made up of vibrant, skilled, passionate people; ethnic and culturally rich communities and geographies. To ignore equity and inclusion is to ignore who we are today, and ignore the strengths and richness that makes us who we are.”
County Commissioner Martha Schrader vowed to ensure that the county’s equity and inclusion work continues, and she told Pamplin Media Group that Clackamas County may soon feel the need to rehire more staff to work specifically on equity and inclusion.
The West Linn Alliance has supported the goals and mission of the Clackamas County Equity and Inclusion Office and is disturbed to see the county drop all focus on equity and inclusion. We live in an extremely diverse county, and the West Linn Alliance disagrees with Clackamas County Administrator Gary Schmidt’s statement that “These changes will help ensure Clackamas County’s compliance with federal and state laws, that Clackamas County is a welcoming place for all employees, and that the public has full and equal access to county services, programs and information.” The actions of the County Administrator and the Board of County Commissioners speak louder than their words.
You can make your voice heard on this matter by writing our elected County Commissioners:
- Tootie Smith (Chair)
- Paul Savas
- Mark Shull
- Ben West
- Martha Schrader
The email contact for the commissioners is email@example.com .