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The Department, led by a Chief Diversity Officer, will spearhead efforts to diversify the county’s workforce, review contracting and procurement procedures and develop and implement policies and strategies to combat all forms of bias and unequal treatment.
Monroe County Executive Adam Bello, joined by Legislator Ernest Flagler-Mitchell and other members of the County Legislature, announced today that he is submitting legislation to amend the County Charter to create a new county Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
“From the outset, a core priority of my administration has been to ensure County government reflects the diversity of our community and serves the entire community equitably,” said Bello. “The systemic and institutional inequities that have existed for far too long make the work ahead challenging. This new department, led by a newly created Chief Diversity Officer, is a critical first step forward in creating a more diverse and inclusive County government and ensuring that Monroe County is an inclusive business partner within the community.”
In addition to a renewed focus on effective methods and procedures for recruitment, selection, placement, and promotion of racial and ethnic minorities, women, veterans, persons who identify as LGBTQ, and persons with disabilities, the department will also review and monitor County contracting and procurement procedures to ensure entities doing business with the County are inclusive and diverse. In overseeing this important work, the Chief Diversity Officer will also work to develop and implement initiatives to foster diversity, supervise equal employment opportunity functions, oversee Minority/Women owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) selection procedures, and investigate internal complaints of discrimination, harassment, hostile work environment, and unequal treatment.
“I am pleased that Monroe County is moving forward in this way,” said Flagler-Mitchell. “Though long overdue, a department devoted to diversity, equity, and inclusion is how we will create long-term positive change in the community. I am excited to support this bill and vote it into law.”
“Monroe County must become an actively anti-racist workplace that embraces diversity and inclusion,” concluded Bello. “It is my hope that this department will complement the work of the recently announced RASE Commission with the City of Rochester and that it will serve as a vehicle for the implementation of the recommendations to come.”