I attended the League of Minority Voters 10th Annual State of Civil Rights forum on October 10th. This was an opportunity to talk with Oregon officials about their roles in reforming our criminal justice system, honor Civil Rights champions, and learn more about the mission of the League of Minority Voters. Speakers included Portland Chief of Police Danielle Outlaw, Oregon U.S. Attorney Billy Williams, and Benton County D.A. John Haroldson. A primary theme of the evening was understanding the history of the relationship between communities and law enforcement in order to build trust and create reform together.
The conversation inspired me to think more deeply about the importance of educating both county staff and community members about what the Auditor’s Office does and help build awareness around our work, as well as to help younger people see that an auditor’s office is a meaningful place to work. We need auditors offices to look more like the communities we serve. The more inclusive we are at every level we operate, the closer we will get to truly representative democracy.
To that end, the Auditor’s Office has opportunities for students seeking to fulfill college internship requirements. An internship at the Auditor’s Office would be perfect for students interested in or curious about a career in local government, performance auditing, or management analysis. This work provides a broad view of county operations, as well as the ability to focus on specific areas (like equity and inclusion, health, criminal justice, human services, contracting, budgeting, etc.) We would love to host students who have personal, professional and/or lived experience with communities typically underrepresented in government leadership, who bring a commitment to transparency, accountability, and working across difference; and who have a sincere interest in public service. Go to my website to learn more about our internship program or contact my office at email@example.com or (503) 988-3320.
October was a rich month for deepening our understanding of audit work through trainings and conferences. In early October, the Association of Local Government Auditors (ALGA) held its annual regional conference in Portland. My office helped to organize this event and five of us presented on topics including ethics, the Good Government Hotline, and understanding the similarities and differences between audits and investigations.
Members of my office also attended the 26th Annual Northwest Public Employees Diversity Conference: Leading with Racial Equity through Action and Accountability. The conference was a unique opportunity to cross diverse boundaries for a common purpose of promoting values of inclusiveness, respectful work environments, equal opportunity for all, and culturally responsive services. Why lead with race? As morning speaker Sherelle Jackson put it, "When you start with the person, the family, the community furthest from resource and most disenfranchised, you improve the system for everyone else who experiences those same inequities." The Northwest Public Employee Conference gave us a chance to explore equity and inclusiveness in our audit process. We continued this exploration through an equity and inclusion training facilitated by Daniel Garcia from the county’s Office of Equity and Diversity. This training culminated in the creation of a draft equity and inclusion auditing tool. We will continue working on the tool this Fall when we begin using it in our auditing process.
Principal auditors Nicole Dewees and Mark Ulanowicz travelled to Los Angeles for an LAPD audit training in preparation for an audit of county jails. Mark explained, “the training provided an insight into law enforcement procedures and culture.”
Deadline to Apply to the Salary Commission is November 1
Are you a human resource professional with compensation experience? Don’t miss out on this opportunity! I’m looking for three community members to serve on the Salary Commission. The Salary Commission sets the salaries for the Chair of the Board of County Commissioners, County Commissioners, the Sheriff, and the County-paid supplemental salary of the District Attorney. The Salary Commission typically meets six times during the first half of 2020. To be considered, applications must be received by 11:59pm on Friday, November 1, 2019. If you have questions about how to apply, or to request an accommodation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (503) 988-3320.Apply to sit on the Multnomah County Salary Commission
Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities ServicesOn October 10th, Principal Auditors Annamarie McNiel and Craig Hunt and I presented the results of our audit on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Services. We found the Division’s ability to provide quality care is at risk because of the number and pace of significant changes mandated by the state. The state has not adequately funded all of these changes and has put a complex funding system into place. The destabilizing impact of these changes and funding pressure at the County level have resulted in high caseloads and turnover, case manager strain and burnout, morale issues, and complaints from clients and their families. You can view our presentation and read the audit report on my website.
Housing and Homeless ServicesWe have officially started our access to housing and homeless services audit. The intention of this audit is to provide information about what community members experience as they access housing and homeless services, and about the root causes of issues affecting access. I anticipate this audit will take about one year for completion. Community members are always welcome to share their thoughts with me about the audits we are currently working on and audit ideas.
Upcoming Board of County Commissioners presentations
You are welcome to attend these presentations, watch them live or view them later.
Mental Health Services: Tuesday, December 3
Clinical Services: Thursday, December 12