City Club of Portland, the 101-year-old civic organization known for its Friday forums and deeply researched reports on matters of public interest, has stubbed its toe again.
Last December, City Club convened a committee to conduct in-depth research into Oregon's addiction services offerings. The panel met twice a week for about six months and turned in its report in July.
But the organization, known for its deep dives into weighty topics, for months didn't release the panel's findings.
On Nov. 10, City Club President Lisa Watson released a letter to members explaining why: The report was quashed because all of its authors were white.
"As part of the Board of Governors' standard review of the research process, it came to our attention that every member of the committee was white," Watson wrote.
"While we have no doubt that the committee members entered into this research project in good faith and with all best intentions, it's clear that an all-white committee makes our research vulnerable to significant and substantive racial bias."
That reasoning disappointed committee members because they and City Club officials knew the committee was all white when it was formed and throughout the twice-weekly committee meetings it held for months.
It's worth a read. Dr. Samuel Metz, a retired physician who served on the committee summarized the group's findings in an op-ed today.
"Oregon's addiction crisis exceeds that of almost every other state," Metz rote in an op-ed at State of Reform. "Two out of three Oregonians suffer from addiction or know someone who does."
The report is chock full of dismal findings. Here are some of the highlights:
*in 2016, approximately 1,500 Oregonians died from alcohol-related causes—three times the number who died of drug overdoses.
*only 11 percent of adult Oregonians with SUD received treatment, worse than the national average of 14 percent.
*Oregon ranks 48th in the nation for adolescent treatment access with just 144 community adolescent treatment beds in a state with 500,000 adolescents
*only 6 percent of individuals receiving prevention programming in Oregon were involved in evidence-based programs.
*more than 290 million opioid pills are prescribed in Oregon each year, or approximately 70 pills per Oregonian.