Oakland to borrow Portland employee to start new Dept. of Race and Equity

OAKLAND CITY COUNCIL | The head of Portland’s Office of Equity and Human Rights may be coming to Oakland to help establish its own similar department, but only for a few months, according to The Oregonian.

The Oakland City Council Rules Committee on Thursday scheduled an agenda item for Nov. 3 to approve the three-month temporary hiring of Dante James, who has led Portland’s equity department since its inception in 2012.

James, who is the sister of former KPIX news anchor Dana King, would retain his position in Portland, said the report, but Oakland would assume James’ salary while he works to set up the new department, in addition, to advising the city on hiring its first director.

James earns over $147,000 a year, according to the report, making him one of the highest paid employees in Portland city government.

Earlier this year, Councilmember Desley Brooks proposed the creation of Oakland’s first department dedicated to achieving racial and social equity in the city. The department was approved during the June budget season with the end of the year targeted for its debut.

It is also no surprise Oakland city leaders are reaching out to Portland for guidance. Brooks often recognized the city, along with King County, Washington as inspiration for her proposal.

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