Posted February 26, 2020
For Immediate Release: Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Board of Commissioners adopt historic equity resolution
The Washington County Board of Commissioners has unanimously approved the adoption of an historic “Resolution on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” to guide the County’s long-term efforts to advance racial equity and create a more inclusive community for all. The resolution was developed through close collaboration with various community stakeholders and subject matter experts, as well as input from County employees and residents through focus groups and surveys.
The resolution celebrates Washington County’s diversity and rich cultural life but also acknowledges a long history of racial discrimination—in Oregon and nationally—that has produced barriers to people of color, members of ethnic communities and other marginalized groups. Because these barriers are often embedded in government systems, the Board has committed to “develop our understanding of the inequities that County policies, programs and practices may cause,” and to “strive to act with humility and openness as we evolve new and better insights to achieving a more equitable Washington County…”
The resolution details the formation of an organizational action plan through fiscal year 2020-21 to create an Office of Equity, Inclusion and Community Engagement. Additional action items include:
- Hire a Chief Equity Officer and additional staff to manage diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and community engagement strategies and activities, including policy coordination, civil rights compliance, data analysis and interdepartmental coordination.
- Empanel a staff Leadership Equity Council to coordinate strategic planning across departments, purchasing practices, hiring and recruitment strategies, employee training and education related to DEI, and the creation of employee affinity groups.
- Convene a community-led Communities of Color Advisory Board, appointed by the Board of Commissioners and comprised primarily of county residents and community partners with lived experience of racial or ethnic inequality.
To read the full Board Resolution on Diversity Equity and Inclusion, please go to
To learn more about the County’s overall DEI initiative, please visit https://www.co.washington.or.us/CAO/diversity-equity-and-inclusion.cfm
Julie McCloud, Public Affairs & Communications Coordinator