Governor Kate Brown Convenes First Racial Justice Council Meeting to Address Systemic Racism in Oregon
(Salem, OR) — Governor Kate Brown convened the first meeting of the Racial Justice Council to address systemic racism in Oregon. In response to Oregonians’ clarion call for racial justice, police accountability, and the recognition that Black Lives Matter, Governor Brown formed the council to take action in advancing anti-racist policies for Oregon.
“This week, as we brace for the impacts of a once in a lifetime wildfire season, we are amidst a global pandemic that has sickened and killed Black, Latino, Latina, Latinx, Pacific Islander, and other communities of color at disproportionate rates,” said Governor Kate Brown. “Racism and racial disparities impact every part of our culture and our economy. The pandemic and the fires have further exacerbated these disparities. We know that most Oregonians are feeling the impacts of wind, fires, and the pandemic, but the effects are not felt equally.”
Governor Brown went on to recognize the contributions and advocacy of members of the Council, as well as thousands of Oregonians who have raised their voices in pursuit of racial justice and criminal justice reform following the murder of George Floyd.
“In honor of the memory of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and too many others, we must center racial equity as we build the state budget and develop our 2021 legislative agenda,” Governor Brown added. “As we recruit and promote people in state agencies. And our boards and commissions. In the very structures of state government.”
“Today, we embark on a process to build an Oregon that we can all love. An Oregon where we can all be loved and respected. As we reshape our state budget, we must support the communities currently experiencing crisis. We must ensure a better future, by focusing necessary recovery measures around racial equity and inclusion.”
The Council is an advisory group to the Governor with subgroups focused on criminal justice reform and police accountability, health equity, economic opportunity, housing and homelessness, environmental equity, and education. The council will provide principles and recommendations that center racial justice and economic recovery to the Governor to inform the 2021-2023 Governor’s Recommended Budget and legislative agenda.
The agenda for the first racial justice council meeting can be found here.
The Racial Justice Council website, including a council member list can be found here.
A full transcript of the Governor’s remarks can be found here.