• Lisa Peterson

Correcting the Record - Salem's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Director

The above image is from the cover of Salem's Race Equity Task Force Report, published in July, 2021. The full report can be accessed here.

Earlier today, on October 13, 2021, City Councillor and candidate for mayor, Steve Dibble, published the following statement on his mayoral candidacy page:

His statement reads: "EQUITY ~ The dedicated work accomplished by the year-long effort of the Race Equity Task Force provides us with an excellent framework for improving racial equity throughout our community. Salem has been historically an inclusive city, proud to welcome immigrants of all races, creeds and ethnicities. Under my leadership, we will continue to be. We must support local leaders who are contributing to Salem's culturally diverse and welcoming lifestyle. Additionally, we need to continue to promote multicultural events, and at the same time work to remove any systemic policies that pose barriers to inclusion. As mayor, I will work closely with the new Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), and encourage smart, creative ideas to pursue equity in all aspects of life in Salem."

This statement is at odds with the fact that on June 8, 2021, in City Council chambers, Councillor Dibble moved to reduce the city budget in order to eliminate the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion from the City of Salem budget for the coming year. He was the only Councillor to make such a motion or to support the idea of doing so. The motion failed, and the new position of Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion was approved and added to our city budget.

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