How much equity does it take to change a lightbulb?

The politicians and bureaucrats in the Portland area can't do anything without first dithering for a long time about "equity." Equity this, equity that.

Example: People are dying of Covid and we have the vaccine. What to do? Set up a 27-person equity committee that does nothing but slow things down.

I see that this process is also being followed in connection with planning the replacement of the Interstate Bridge. That project has generated a sum total of nine figures of waste so far, after well over a decade of gyration. And so it's clunky enough without any equity kabuki.

But here's the guy supposedly in charge of the bridge deal these days, crowing in today's O about equity.

In the year since I have led this program, the team has been busy examining how we can embed equity into every stage of our project. We selected a general engineering consulting firm that prioritizes equity and appointed Johnell Bell, a longtime equity practitioner in Oregon to spearhead this work.

We also recruited and set up an equity advisory group of individuals from both sides of the Columbia River. I attend every meeting of this group and I hear their voices directly.

The first major milestone of this group was to develop a definition of “equity” for the bridge-replacement program that looks at both process and outcomes. “Process equity” prioritizes access, influence and decision-making power for marginalized and underserved communities in establishing objectives, design, implementation and evaluation of success. “Outcome equity” is the result of successful process equity and is demonstrated by tangible transportation and economic benefits for those communities. The group is developing a framework for the program, from design to completion, to be finalized in the fall.

 It's gonna be a while, folks.


  1. What the f is equity anyway? I always use to think it was what you had after you subtracted your liabilities from your assets. Now I haven't a clue. This new newspeak Orwellian language needs a dictionary. As for the bridge, I could care less about equity. I just don't want the damn thing to collapse while I'm driving across it.


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