The Charles Jordan Standard

In 2010, I approached the office of Sam Adam, the Portland, OR Mayor at the time, to present him with an idea of adopting the N.F.L. “Rooney Rule”, which had just become law in Oregon colleges. The ordinance I was proposing would require the city to interview at least one qualified minority candidate prior to hiring for any of the 26 Bureau Director positions within the city, such as Parks or Police Directors.

For whatever reason, I wasn’t able to gain much traction and the idea never got off the ground.
In 2015, I found myself working for the City of Portland, OR as a Park Ranger and serving as a Human Rights Commissioner, so I decided to try again.

I reached out to Commissioner Nick Fish who asked me to do some “homework” on the issue and report back to him. He then became the first city council member to support the effort.

I also reached out to the family of Charles Jordan, specifically his daughter Trish and son Dion, to ask for their blessing to name the new Diversity Policy after their father, who was the First Black City Council member and Bureau director for Parks in Portland’s history. They gave their blessing.

Lastly, I reached out to the mayor of Portland, Charlie Hale’s office, and worked with Josh Alpert and Diane Nunez who were critical in gaining the support we needed to pass the new city ordinance. Prior to it passing there was discussion among the city council and they all agreed to amend the ordinance to include woman and person of disability to the interview process.

The City Council voted unanimously to adopt the Charles Jordan Standard , making Portland the only city in the country with such a policy.