His belief in equal rights for all of people has been a guiding principle in the Governor’s administration.

Governor Kulongoski believes that a fundamental right of every Oregonian is equal treatment under law, which is why the Governor sponsored legislation to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation and provide legal protections and recognition of committed, same-sex relationships through a civil union. While the legislation did not pass this session, the Governor remains a tireless supporter of equal rights for all Oregonians and will continue to carry this issue as a priority for Oregon’s future.

The Governor appointed an Affirmative Action Director and staff to uphold his commitment to equal employment opportunity, increase diversity within state agencies and strengthen relationships with Oregon’s minority communities. The Governor’s Affirmative Action Office established the first statewide comprehensive Cultural Competency Assessment and Training program for all state agencies; and leads monthly workshops to provide “best practices” to state agencies. This session the Governor also created the Oregon Advocacy Commissions Office to support to the Hispanic Affairs, Black Affairs, Women and Asian Affairs Commissions, restoring funding so they can continue to carry out their missions to provide a unified voice for minority and women in state government.

This session Governor Kulongoski signed legislation requiring all state agencies to report their contract awards to the Governor’s Advocate for Minority and Women Businesses, which will enable the state for the first time to track how state contracts are awarded to Minority, Women and Emerging Small Businesses – which will improve the state’s targeting efforts to assist minority, women and emerging small businesses in contracting. The Governor also signed legislation to expand Oregon’s Emerging Small Business Program (the state’s race and gender neutral certification program) – which will allow small businesses to participate in the program longer and increase the number of projects agencies can set aside for participation by certified emerging small businesses.

Posted on October 1, 2005
Equality and Civil Rights