Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Together we can create a vibrant community, where accountability is a shared value and a driving equitable force for the flourishing of all in Multnomah County. That’s why we encourage community members to actively engage, share insights, and remain connected with your local government. Our work is centered to serve you - the community voice.
In mid-July I attended a panel conversation called Responding to Hate in the Workplace and learned some unfortunate statistics about bias incidents and hate crimes in our state. What people look like, who they love, and how they identify should not be political issues. I appreciate that despite the persistence of bias incidents and hate crimes, our diverse communities are still coming together to celebrate and be celebrated - like at this month’s festive Portland Pride Parade.
This month, we shared how our office helps ensure county government resources are used efficiently and ethically and that the government is transparent andaccountable. On July 27, Hotline Director Marc Rose and I presented to the Board of County Commissioners about an ordinance for the Good Government Hotline. Getting this ordinance passed will protect the County Auditor’s ongoing operation of the hotline. You can access my brief remarks about the Good Government Hotline’s history and importance here. At the Board’s August 3 meeting, they will vote on whether to adopt the ordinance. You can share your support for the ordinance by emailing the Board Clerk at email@example.com and CCing my office at firstname.lastname@example.org by August 2.
Through various summer events, my office had an active month of community engagement by listening to community members and sharing office resources, as well. I am excited to introduce my office’s summer intern Gelsi Tuz-Uxul who designed and created our office’s community Resource Guide.
In addition to the Montavilla Street Fair (pictured on the right), my team and I connected with community at a variety of events this July.
Responding to Hate in the Workplace: County Ombudsperson Cheryl Taylor, Constituent Relations and DEI Engagement Specialist Raymond De Silva, and I attended this Partners in Diversity program. It featured Portland Public School Board Member Michelle DePass as moderator and panelists Miguel Arellano Sanchez, Oregon State University Bias Incident Response Team; Alysha Schultz, Intuitive Digital; and Fay Stetz-Waters, Civil Rights and Social Justice Director, Oregon Department of Justice. The panel highlighted how people in our state are increasingly reporting bias incidents and hate crimes, thanks in part to the state’s Bias Response Hotline. Yet there are certainly incidents that go unreported. The panelists also shared strategies for reducing bias incidents and for providing support to people who have been harmed by a bias incident or hate crime.
They Never Asked: Senru Poetry from the WWII Portland Assembly Center: I attended the standing-room only signing of this important book that includes poems written by Masaki Kinoshita and more than 10 other Japanese American poets during their incarceration at the Portland Assembly Center and the Minidoka Concentration Camp. Kinoshita’s grandson, Duane Watari, discovered the poems in a journal his grandfather kept during his imprisonment. It took a team of scholars seven years to translate the poems, successfully identify the poets who were listed in the journal only by pen names, and publish the book.
Rosewood Saturday Celebrations: Constituent Relations and DEI Engagement Specialist Raymond De Silva represented our office at this annual community gathering. We are proud that we have been at this event each year since it started in 2021!
Community Resource Guide
- Learn more information about what the Auditor's Office does and resources in Multnomah County - things to do, places to go, and resources to access.
- The information in this guide is for everyone and emphasizes resources for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities to support self care, resiliency, and improved wellness as an act against racism.
Welcoming Gelsi Tuz-Uxul
Gelsi is a senior at Warner Pacific University pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Community Engagement and a minor in Digital Media (expected in May 2024). A native Portlander from the Cully and Killingsworth neighborhood, Gelsi is a first-generation student attending college. Gelsi is enrolled in several volunteer work and jobs through the Student Success and Engagement division in her university assisting young adults and supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion. She enjoys listening to music, exploring food and travel locations in Oregon, and participating in art through drawing, painting, and crafting.
She has an extensive background in digital marketing, social media, social media analytics, community organizing, public safety, youth mentoring/leadership, community engagement, and community development.
Gelsi will be completing her summer College-to-County internship in August 2023.