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Cook County Commissioner Kevin B. Morrison Introduces Ordinance to Establish a Committee to Address Bias, Equity, and Cultural Competency
Cook County Commissioner Kevin B. Morrison announced today an ordinance to establish a Committee on Addressing Bias, Equity, and Cultural Competency. The proposed ordinance will be introduced at the Cook County Board of Commissioners meeting on January 24, 2019.
The proposed ordinance, co-sponsored by Commissioner Kevin B. Morrison, Commissioner Alma Anaya, Commissioner Dennis Deer, and Commissioner Stanley Moore, would name the four sponsors as co-chairs of the Committee. The Committee on Addressing Bias, Equity, and Cultural Competency would be comprised of representatives in departments from across Cook County Government and external stakeholders with expertise in this topic. Upon adoption of this proposed ordinance, the Committee will meet twice a month for up to six months and will deliver a final report and recommendations to the President of the Board and Board of Commissioners.
“County government should explore all avenues that will foster a workforce that is more culturally responsive and competent. Safe and welcoming working conditions and services should be prioritized. Whatever we could do to lower the instance of settlements, and ensure every taxpayer dollar is instead used to expand and improve services to our constituents is a priority in my office,” said Commissioner Morrison.
Commissioner Deer added, “In order for Cook County to be more of a progressive body of government we must address issues of cultural, bias, equity, and competency in the workplace. I believe with the establishment of this commission we will be able to address these issues and create a more culturally equitable workforce in Cook County.”
The Committee intends to explore best practices from other government entities, review current policies and procedures, and make recommendations on how to implement expanded training that will decrease bias and increase cultural competency with Cook County employees. The Committee will gather external individuals and groups that focus on racial equity, LGBTQ rights, and rights for people with disabilities. More details on participants to come.
“I commend Commissioner Kevin Morrison and his staff for leading this timely and long-needed initiative. As a Committee Co-Chair, I look forward to learning alongside my colleagues and guiding the County towards uplifting an equitable environment for our workforce and as a result, for the communities we serve. My hope is that we will strengthen the County’s leadership in addressing racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic bias, acknowledge our own weaknesses, and improve our services for women, immigrants and people with disabilities,” said Commissioner Anaya.
Commissioner Stanley Moore added, “Cook County Government is a welcoming, inclusive, and open workforce for all. It is important that all employees are culturally competent and aware of the biases that impacts the work that they do. Today is an important step for us to expand training that will, in turn, allow the County to prioritize and provide quality services to our County residents.”
If adopted, Cook County would join a growing list of governments addressing implicit bias and cultural competency including the United States Government and Los Angeles County. Cook County intends to collaborate with representatives from other government bodies who have successfully implemented these changes.