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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 7, 2010 5:13 PM. The previous post in this blog was Portland falling even further behind in bikey-ness. The next post in this blog is Cancer. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tighten up City of Portland spending? Yeah, right.

I thought in light of Portland mayor's declaration yesterday of a financial crisis, the city was going to end its binge of hiring consultants. I should have known that, like most of what that guy says, it was not to be believed. Here's the latest, hot off the presses from the city's human rights office:

The Office of Human Relations and Human Rights Commission are seeking proposals from qualified individuals, firms, teams or consultants, hereafter called “Proposer(s),” with demonstrated experience in the following areas:

1. ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: provide specific and relevant coaching to the 15 volunteers of the Human Rights Commission and staff of the Office of Human Relations. We are seeking expertise in the following areas:

a. Servant Leadership – provide coaching and training on Robert Greenleaf’s philosophy of servant leadership and how to incorporate its core values as a means of building and maintaining an effective volunteer human rights commission and addressing human rights issues in Portland.

b. Team building – provide coaching on, including but not limited to improving communication, incorporating goal setting and self-regulation strategies, individual and group skills assessment, optimizing group strengths, improving group effectiveness and productivity, enhancing collaboration among group members, and effectively facilitating and/or participating in meetings.

c. Oppression Analysis – provide coaching and training on:
i. individual and institutional racism, sexism, classism, ableism, heterosexism, and ageism;
ii. a historical and present day context for an understanding of these oppressions; and
iii. connection of aforementioned forms of oppression to human rights issues and how this knowledge can be used to prevent, promote, and protect the human rights of all those who live, work, worship, study, travel, and play in Portland.

2. POLICY WORK – provide coaching and training on how to provide policy analysis using a human rights lens and make recommendations to Portland institutions in need of this expertise.

This work is on an as-needed basis with no commitment from OHR to provide enough work to keep successful Proposer(s) on a full-time basis. The successful Proposer(s) will be expected to enter into a not-to-exceed Professional, Technical, and Expert Services Contract with the City.

I guess this stuff is more important that potholes, cops, street lights, sewers and water. But doesn't the city have plenty of bureaucrats who can do this work? And weren't we supposed to be declaring a moratorium on this? Didn't the mayor say so, just yesterday???

Comments (17)

Hey City - I've got your 'oppression analysis' right here ...

I like that the consultant's knowledge is supposed to both prevent and protect human rights.

"Oppression Analysis"?

That's one of those things you either know it when you see it or you don't.

Gawd, what a bunch of dolts. They should stick to stealing money for bike paths.

This questionable $615,000 agency is run by Maria Lisa Johnson of "Cesare [sic] E. Chavez Blvd" and "Latino Network" infamy - go back and look at this Blog for May 5, 2008, where 'pdxnag' and others spell out her previous escapades involving the public trough:

http://bojack.org/2008/05/from_the_boulevard_of_broken_d.html

So what's another five-figures annually to hire cronies to teach immigrants what a racist Hell they've selected as home, and incidentally, which ones to vote for? They also have on payroll an affirmative-action poet whom we pay to concoct gems like these:

"Oregon is made of the movements of strong tribal nations, ambitious settlers, and optimistic new Americans.
... An equitable and sustainable City providing effective public service requires multilingual and multicultural bureau employees and contractors."

Other offerings include pompous pronouncements in language not recognizable as English. Gag me with a spoon... They boast of all the volunteer work they attract - let's make it all volunteer.

If they are so interested in human rights, how about the human rights of we the citizens to have something other than "make pretend democracy" around here?

Forget the training of volunteers, first train city council on how lack of accountability, transparency and integrity
lead to lack of human rights!

That was a More-atorium, Jack. It's apparent that there's only one potential bidder out there for this gig, and that's the kreative jeenyus who wrote the RFP for the CoP for themselves to begin with. "Servant leadership" -- in Portland city government -- crack me up. Self-service is more like it, right Mayor (for the time being) Adams? Randy (too much smoke) Leonard? Dan (is there anybody in there) Salzman? Et al....

I love the "coaching" part. Who the heck needs coaching? Amanda Fritz? Maria Johnson? Why can't Sam just "mentor" them himself?

First off Jack, mentoring can only start with 17 year old males, and the training is done in a city hall mens room...

C'mon people. This is the kind of RFP every community should support. Even in tough times. Here are two reasons why:
1) The "soft" service of human relations is just as important--if not moreso--than any other government service. (I, for one, would rather have a few potholes than declining racial relations, consciously and unconsciously oppressive institutions, etc.)
2) Just as nobody wants an untrained police officer or transportation worker, neither should there be untrained staff/volunteers implementing human rights.

Yes, these are tough times. Yes, city services should be cut to meet available revenue. But across-the-board cuts, while "equal," are ultimately foolish because they disproportionately affect vulnerable populations.

Equality is so 20th century. We need to move the discussion to Equity.

Tor-mentor, that is. But only on an "as-needed" basis, as they caution in their *fear of commitment* RFP. What a scream. Those people appear to have the sensibilities of c-type asteroids. Office of Human Relations, yet. Good grief. The ironies boggle....

This is the kind of RFP every community should support.

How laughable. If I thought the b.s. being paid for here was going to make a difference, I might feel otherwise. But it isn't.

This is a contract for somebody's loser nephew.

And to me, the first thing you do for human rights is not kill people just because they have mental problems. Portland fails that test. Let's spend these thousands on starting to fix the murdering police problem, before hiring some clown to repackage his college term paper about "ableism."

Here's a wild idea - why don't they simply appoint people that actually know something about human rights rather than a bunch of race baiting political insiders?

"unconsciously oppressive"

Here's my issue - If you hire a oppression analyst, you will find oppression. Just like if you think you have bugs and just can't see them, a bug exterminator will find bugs whether its a problem or not.

If we have someone engaging in oppression, fine, then deal with that instead of putting together some ad hoc PowerPoint on what someone thinks oppression is.

I am still waiting for the RFP for the money-waste-finder analyst.

I'll take the money-waste-finder job.

I'll take 1% of what I find, if there is no waste I work for free.

Good catch, Isaac! Hilarious!

When will the young people start using their noodles and figure out that the COP does things like this to combat public outrage over police killings and to create the political capital to be able to give billions to white male 60-something fatcats?

Wait a sec, I am an old white fatcat. Never mind. Keep this crazy sh*t coming.

Meow!

The City of Portland has become a very dysfunctional place. The problem is obviously about priorities; rather build a bureaucracy that serves the citizens, starting with making sure their basic needs are met, the CoP’s mission has evolved into what amounts to social engineering (a "nanny state"). They adopted a slogan long ago, “The City That Works”, which arrogantly proclaimed Portland as outrageously successful…and from that point, all the bureaucrats had to do was manage the citizens according to lofty, unrealistic priorities. They’ve “made sure” we’re the “greenest city on earth” by tightening building codes, increasing parks fees, and cramming streetcars, bike lanes, green roofs, and trams down our throats. They’ve “made sure” we are racially sensitive by hiring “diversity consultants” and by making us drive on renamed streets, and the undertone since the Breedlove incident is that we’re homophobes if we oust the homosexual mayor – even if he made out with a minor in the City Hall restroom.

Portland’s campaign has long been to convince the citizens that we already live in utopia, and to simply let the bureaucrats keep steering a perfect ship; it’s all very Orwellian. Cracks are starting to show, and this is why the CoP needs more of these egghead consultants…telling us how to live doesn’t work so well in very ugly economic times. Every Portlander needs to stand up and do everything they can to change the culture at the CoP; it is clear that this bureaucracy is not about meeting the basic needs of the citizens. When we have new streetcars going in, MAX lines being extended, money for bike infrastructure…AND crappy schools and a police force with no credibility…there’s a huge cultural problem within the City government.

"I, for one, would rather have a few potholes than declining racial relations, consciously and unconsciously oppressive institutions, etc."

Was that meant as a joke? These idiotic councils do far more to reaffirm negative stereotypes than they do to break them. And as a US Gov't Certified Cripple, I'd much rather have the potholes filled and get my bus stop back than spend 2/3 of a million annually on hot air from professional 'victims' - the 'ableism' oppression around here is so subtle & insidious that I've never even noticed it. But then, I have not made it my life's mission to seek out & cultivate trouble, and I haven't had a City consultant to teach me how oppressed I am - now that it is a City career path, maybe I should.




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