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Monday, July 7, 2008

Still at it

Remember the pitch that the Portland Development Commission put out back in May for contractors to do "cultural liaison" work? Looks like there were no takers, or at least no good ones, as the PDC is back out with what is essentially a rerun of the same pitch this month.

It's interesting which groups the PDC says it needs outside help relating to:

The cultural communities that this solicitation covers are

a. African Countries, (please identify – Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia, etc.)
b. African American
c. Hispanic (Mexican)
d. Hispanic (any other - please specify)
e. Native American (Oregon, NW Tribes, other Native American – please specify)
f. Southeast Asian (Vietnamese, Cambodian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, other SE Asian – please specify)
g. Eastern European (former Soviet Union Countries – please specify)
h. Middle East (please specify)
i. Youth (18-25)
j. Other groups (please specify)

What? No Klingon?

And then there are the tasks that must be performed:

1. Provide entrée to community in culturally sensitive ways:
· Train PDC staff on how best serve and engage the community identified in your proposal.
· Host dialogue on key community and PDC issues.
· Translate written material.
· Interpret interactions, speeches, conflicts, etc...

2. Production of public participation materials in language of the service area identified to include:
· Meeting notices
· Flyers
· Posters
· Project content
· Surveys (paper and electronic)
· News releases, print or other media

3. Meeting planning and facilitation with culturally diverse communities to include:
· Meeting preparation
· Community meetings
· Education on culture of the service area identified

4. Conflict Management and Mediation involving culturally diverse communities to include:
· Issue identification
· Meeting facilitation in a high stakes environment
· Conflict resolution within and between community groups

Now, I try to be as culturally sensitive as the next person, but do we really need somebody to translate PDC pronouncements into Serbian, or Native American? And what about "youth" language? Does the PDC really need a consultant to talk to "youth"? "Hey, dude, they're, like, gonna put a streetcar over by the Burgerville, man. Awesomely dank..."

Before one laughs too hard, though, consider that these are supposed to be multiple contracts of up to $25,000 each, and the whole proposal is listed on the PDC site as a "formal bid opportunity... estimated over $100,000."

So when you're paying your property taxes in November, remember, a buck or two will be for a good cause: If somebody wants to ask Homer Williams "Is that your hand in my pocket?" in Swahili, she'll have someone from Portland State there to convert it to English for him.

Only in Portland will you hear "linchpin" in several click tongues.

Comments (17)

Funny, the more I look at these job descriptions the more I see the manager training agendas that CoP loves to hire consultants for.

When did Japan slide down into southeast Asia? I missed the report.

Do you mean "empleados"? "Empleos" means "uses". Just trying to help out...

This is yet another example of PDC staff having too much time and too little legitimate public work to perform.
As well as too big of a budget that never gets adequate scrutiny.

If I, or anyone one like me, ever had the authority I'd waltz through the PDC building and anyone who couldn't easily easily show what public benefitting work product they had produced that day would be shown the door.

No doubt 3/4 of managenment and half the staff would be heading out.

Now PDC can ignore everyone in any language. Was there any mention Native American languages?
Better get those done first 'cause those who speak those languages are dying off fast.

OOps I see that Native American languages are included...better get busy!

Not so long ago it was the Irish and the Italians. But we didn't learn Gaelic or Italian. They learned English and....no surprise, they thrived and assimilated. United we stand, divided we fall. Cliche or fact?

United we stand, divided we fall. Cliche or fact?

Probably fact, so you better get busy on your Spanish.

"Hey, dude, they're, like, gonna put a streetcar over by the Burgerville, man. Awesomely dank..."

"OMFG d1d u hr th3y r gna put teh tr4mz n th3 8urg3rv113? W00t!!!1!1!two!1!"

Gracias por la rectificación. Mi diccionario es defectuoso.

no Latin? Aut Caesar aut nihil!

Semper ubi sub ubi.

They can just translate one line:

"We promise to listen to your concerns"

And then they'll be done communicating with these groups.

Una billete de ida a la bancarrota.

Let's add two more groups to the list of communities to which PDC needs to improve its outreach:
k. Portland business
l. Underwriters of municipal bonds

m. Taxpayers

"Una billete de ida a la bancarrota."

Yikes! Lemme guess...you're using one of those internet translators?

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