The Equity Strategy Advisory Committee is looking for new members, with applications due Nov. 5.
The committee meets monthly to discuss issues relating to equity in the greater Portland area, such as access to transportation, education, healthcare and other services, and advises Metro's chief operating officer on the formation of its equity strategy, bringing the community perspective to the table.
There are five seats open on the 14-member committee.
Juan Carlos Ocana-Chiu, Metro’s Equity Strategy program manager, said the committee is looking for people with experience with or a strong interest in equity and also for people who can represent the perspectives of different communities and sectors, and that one which could especially use more representation is the business sector.
Carl Talton, chair of the committee, said the idea of equity is making sure that as an organization, and a government in particular, sets policies, provides services and spends resources, it does not overly enrich one segment of the population or overly negatively impact another.
“We need some of everyone,” Talton said. “We need diverse backgrounds and experiences and perspectives and they simply need to be committed to the idea of equity and its importance in society and government and business – in everything that they touch at Metro.”
An area of the population of particular focus to the committee is communities of color, according to Ocana-Chiu. The barriers faced by this group are very similar to barriers faced by people with low incomes of any race, people with disabilities, seniors, youth or people from the LGBT community, he said.
“But communities of color have even deeper barriers because of the perception of race,” Ocana-Chiu said. “So by focusing on removing and addressing the barriers that communities of color face, we’re also going to be addressing the barriers that other disadvantaged groups and communities also face.”
The committee is seeking people that have knowledge and experience in different parts of the Portland area, Ocana-Chiu said. “We want to make sure that we have good representation of all three counties in our region,” he said.
Those interested in serving on the committee may apply via email or fax by 5 p.m. Nov. 5.
Learn more and apply