Salem City Manager Reaffirms Commitment to Equity and Social Justice

Posted on November 19, 2020

Salem, Ore. — 

Salem City Manager Steve Powers issued a statement today pledging his and the City’s commitment to equity and social justice:

Read statement in signed letter form.

In our community, more than 70 languages are spoken, we are home to more than 20 cultural community hubs and easily more than 30 ethnicities.  Sometimes, the City’s work with fellow Salemites flows simply as we look for points of connection and similarities among us. Sometimes, we find and explore differences between ourselves and those we serve.  Sometimes, there are conflicts.

Daily, we cultivate inclusion:

  • We curate diverse collections at the library, so everyone will find both themselves and someone or something new to them as they explore.
  • We examine our customer experience, because we want everyone to be welcomed, to have access, and to be treated fairly – and to feel welcome.
  • We prevent disparate impact to any one population in our work and services, because we want all communities to thrive.
  • We enthusiastically support civil rights.
  • We communicate to as many communities as possible, because we want to engage with everyone in our community.
  • We review job applications without surnames, because we understand we can’t prevent our subconscious bias.
  • We investigate bias complaints, because there is no room in Salem for discrimination.
  • We pause and listen when we don’t understand someone’s point of view.
  • We study our policies and practices to ensure we don’t unintentionally exclude.
  • We comply with the city’s Salem Revised Code that states all people should fully experience the life of the city.
  • We live our strategic plan mission, vision and values to be a place open to all.

As Salem’s City Manager, I am dedicated to serving the best interests of all, achieving equity and social justice, and acting with integrity so that I may earn the trust of all those the City serves. Working to end systemic racism and other violations of human rights is my ethical obligation. I reaffirm my commitment to support my City colleagues in our work serving Salem communities and in developing new ways to reflect ideals that value all people.

I pledge to you to listen, to learn, and to use my voice to amplify the voices of others. I am committed to having Salem be a just and effective local government.

Steve Powers, City Manager

City of Salem

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