News Flash

Mayor's Office

Posted on: January 20, 2021

Racial Equity Steering Committee to Accept Written Public Comments

portland news

The City of Portland's Racial Equity Steering Committee (RESC) would like to learn about the public’s concerns, ideas, and recommendations regarding how the City of Portland addresses public safety and racial equity. RESC has hosted two in-person public comment sessions to gather input, but recognizes that in-person public comment may not feel accessible to all people in the community. 

Because the Committee would like to hear from a wide array of community members -- not just those who can attend the scheduled public comment sessions -- the Committee is inviting people to submit written public comments. The Committee has designed a short form to give community members an easy way to share their perspectives. 

For reference, the RESC is using the following as its working definition of "public safety." Public safety is:

  • Protecting the wellbeing of people of all races & ethnicities, communities, and organizations.
  • Safeguarding people from crimes, disaster, and other potential dangers and threats, and reducing fear.
  • Ensuring that all people get a fair and equitable chance to lead a high quality of life that is not predicted by race.

About the RESC
Mayor Kate Snyder announced the appointment of 13 members to the Racial Equity Steering Committee during its September 9, 2020 meeting. The Council established a Racial Equity Steering Committee as part of a resolution that it passed at its July 13, 2020 meeting. 

The Racial Equity Steering Committee is charged with reviewing the City’s approach to public safety, including but not limited to: 

  • an examination of the ever expanding role we, as a City, have asked the police to play in our community — ranging from responding to noise complaints, traffic violations, and violent crime to conducting wellness checks and responding to behavioral health calls and drug overdoses — and whether we have provided them with the appropriate resources to accomplish this work; 
  • the way in which the City interacts with area agencies, organizations, and non-profits in the name of public safety and how these partnerships can best work to enhance public safety in the City; and 
  • recommending changes, as necessary, to various policies, structures, and procedures related to public safety that may disproportionately impact Black people and other persons of color with the specific aim of improving community relations, establishing mutual trust and respect, and rooting out and ending systemic racism.

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