A Welcoming Tigard
by Paula Walker
Imagine that English is not your native language. While you have learned a few words, you cannot read most English sentences. How do you apply for a job? Get a driver’s license? Learn about the local culture without losing your own?
A vibrant Tigard relies on a diverse healthy community that serves all its citizens equally. It recognizes and embraces our differences and encourages people from different backgrounds, races, genders and sexual orientations to become involved in our government and help us connect with each other in a meaningful way.
Leadership begins at the top in order for meaningful change to occur. Recently Mayor Snider wrote a forceful article that clearly upholds the City’s commitment to reject discrimination and racism.
As he said, “I want it to be perfectly clear that Tigard is a community for everyone. We will stand up to hurtful speech and reinforce our efforts to attract a workforce that is representative of our community and our nation.”
The City has taken several steps to shatter barriers to employment. They include improving the recruitment process to make it more equitable to a broad variety of jobseekers.
It will continue to provide diversity awareness training for staff. Employees from a variety of backgrounds are more likely to stay if they feel welcome and included at their workplace.
We have made some progress, but we still have a long way to go to truly be a diverse, equitable and inclusive city that promotes the essence of its vision. A city where people of all ages and abilities enjoy healthy and interconnected lives.
Did you know?
- More than 5,000 people viewed the Mayor’s column about diversity, equity and inclusion, and received a majority of positive responses.
- Nearly one-fifth of Tigard speaks a language other than English.
- The City has sponsored a Latino Festival for the past four years.
- The library has a Spanish story time and two bilingual librarians.
- The Community Development department provides translation services, and attendance at events has grown when interpreters are present.
February 14, 2019
In our effort to foster a diverse and inclusive workforce, we will hold ourselves accountable by being publicly transparent about our accomplishments, challenges, and the work ahead.
Last Six Months
- 5,000+ viewed Mayor Snider’s article on the importance of a cultural diverse workforce.
45 staff completed TigardUniversity which teaches new hires about the city’s culture.
40 staff participated in a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) planning session.
32 - Number of questions in the DEI interview question bank. At least one question will be asked in each interview.
24/7/365 availability for interpretive and translating services to support all staff in helping customers at counters, in the field or while planning outreach for the community we serve.
17 staff completed training for the Homeless Point-in-Time which addressed breaking down barriers with all members of our community.
16 staff attended Northwest Regional Diversity Conference in 2018.
5 phases completed in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Self-Evaluation.
2 staff participated in the planning of an Equity/Diversity Summit hosted by the Lake Oswego School District.
1 City Manager (Marty Wine) wrote an article on Why DEI Matters.
Next Six Months
- Beginning March 1, we will follow a “blind recruitment” which is the practice of removing personally identifiable information from applications.
Each department will identify at least one public-facing area to review with an equity lens.
Employees will receive training on interrupting and addressing microaggressions.
We will strengthen our commitment to the Building Bridges program.
A new-hire mentor program will be explored.