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First Equity Director Resigns

12/12/2017, 1:35 p.m.
The first director of a Portland office charged with removing barriers in government for Portlanders of color and people with ...
Dante J. James

The first director of a Portland office charged with removing barriers in government for Portlanders of color and people with disabilities is leaving his post.

Dante J. James announced his resignation last week saying he planned to move to Colorado to reunite with his family.

James was hired in 2012 to run the newly created office of Equity and Human Rights. Under his leadership, the office elevated the discussion and awareness of racial issues in the city in order to reduce disparities.

“Dante’s work was instrumental in creating the budget equity tool and our plan to enhance equitable workforce development in city construction projects through our Community Equity and Inclusion Plan, which was unanimously adopted by City Council this year, among many accomplishments,” said Mayor Ted Wheeler. “His leadership at the helm of OEHR will be sorely missed.”

Wheeler has named Koffi Dessou, currently equity and business operations manager in the equity office, as interim bureau director. Dessou’s contributions to the city include creating the city's equity training and education program.