Clackamas County Chair
Jim Bernard: votejimbernard.com
1. What racial/cultural/ethnic identities do you claim?
Bernard – 4th generation American of Dutch heritage
2. What are the root causes of racial inequities in Oregon?
Bernard – Ignorance, Fear, distrust of cultures other than people of similar color and heritage
3. There are over 800,000 People of Color in Oregon, and growing. Generations of racial exclusion, exploitation and divestment have historically marginalized communities of color from the political process. What steps will you take to engage communities of color?
Bernard – Clackamas county has taken steps to address this issue by instituting a program to diversify our workforce by giving preference to people of color. We hired Emmett Wheatfield as our Diversity and Inclusion Administrator and his job is to work with our various divisions to set goals and introduce efforts to diversify our workforce and educate our current employees about the value of a diverse and inclusive workforce.
4. What leadership actions can APANO count on you for in response to racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobic and other comments that demonize and stereotype Oregonians?
Bernard – It wont be tolerated. My opponent has cost us thousands of dollars in legal fees due to his sexism and homophobia. While he has been learning he still has latent tendencies to discriminate. I am working with our diversity manager to make sure I am prepared to understand and deal with the rapidly changing social environment.
5. Asians, Pacific Islanders and communities of color are historically under-represented in civic life. What would you do to create or expand culturally specific (i.e. Asian/Pacific Islander, African American, Native American, Latino/a, etc) leadership and civic engagement programs?
Bernard – We have set goals and we are working to reach the goal of reflecting our diverse demographics. We are also providing leadership training which allows our employees to interact with our growing diverse employees and Emmett has provide opportunity to learn about resources and interest groups within the organization as well as organization that the county works with.
6. What are your solutions to the Housing Crisis facing Oregonians?
Bernard – This is a huge problem and frankly I don’t have a solution. I do however believe that Clackamas County is working towards a solution with many of our partners by building facilities with access to transportation and services. I don’t think Portland’s solutions are working. We need to work with our regional partners towards a solution focusing on families and those with barriers to housing.
7. Communities of color have identified a significant lack of culturally specific centers in neighborhoods where they are concentrated. What steps would you take to support new investments in culturally specific community spaces and infrastructure?
Bernard – We are making efforts to open cultural specific centers throughout the county and we are attempting to access federal and non-profit resources. I will make a specific effort to address this issue as Chair but I do not control the agenda yet. I plan on creating an advisory group that will advise me on this issue and others.
For more information on these candidates, please visit their website:
Jim Bernard: votejimbernard.com
To get involved in APANO’s civic engagement work, please contact Kathy@apano.org or call 971-340-4861.