County Executive Gardner Announces Bill to Create Equity and Inclusion Office

Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner today announced legislation to help identify and address inequities within Frederick County Government. The bill, which will be sponsored by Council Member Kai Hagen, establishes by law an Office of Equity and Inclusion and Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer.

The legislation also creates an Equity and Inclusion Commission to advise the County Executive, County Council, and Office of Equity and Inclusion. The Equity and Inclusion Leadership Team recommended both the office and commission in its final report, issued last month.

“My vision for Frederick County Government is fairness and opportunity for all, so everyone can share in our community’s prosperity and fully participate in civic life,” said County Executive Gardner. “County government can lead the way by providing equitable programs, policies, resources, and services, and by embracing diversity and inclusion in all we do. We are better together.”

County Executive Gardner and Council Member Hagen worked collaboratively with Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer Michael Hughes on the legislation, which will be considered by the Frederick County Council.

According to a press release:

Under the leadership of the Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer, the Office of Equity and Inclusion will develop and manage a strategic framework to ensure equitable opportunities are available within all levels of County government and for all County residents. They will ensure equity informs planning, policy development, recruitment and hiring, and decision-making.

The Equity and Inclusion Commission, comprised of 13 members, will advise the County Executive, County Council and the Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer. Members will represent a wide range of ethnicities, professional backgrounds, and socioeconomic status. Each member must be a resident of Frederick County and a registered voter. They will help to plan community outreach, initiatives, and events that affirm, celebrate, and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout Frederick County. They will also provide input on the strategic plan developed by the Office of Equity and Inclusion.

Visit the Frederick County website for more information.

MACo’s Summer Conference, “Resilient. Responsive…Ready,” will feature a session on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. “The Why Behind DEI: The Power of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace,” hosted by MACo’s Human Resources Affiliate, is scheduled for Friday, August 20, 2021, from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference: