News: New county leader will guide work to reduce disparities for residents

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Media contact: Carolyn Marinan, Communications, 612-348-5969

New county leader will guide work to reduce disparities for residents

County begins next phase in its work to reduce disparities

Headshot of Alex Tittle

Hennepin County’s director of disparity reduction, Alex Tittle, began his role this spring.

His work concentrates the county’s efforts and actions to reduce differences in areas such as employment and income that adversely impact residents. 

Hennepin County’s work deeply focuses on its residents. While many enjoy the great quality of life for which the region is recognized, stark disparities exist—particularly for residents of color. Areas of focus include education, employment, health, housing, income, justice and transportation.

“These differences affect residents negatively, and Hennepin County must align its work under the priority of reducing disparities in 2018 and beyond,” said David J. Hough, county administrator. “Our experience shows we need purposeful, determined leadership for this critical work.”

Tittle will be responsible for developing and implementing plans to reduce disparities in each of the seven domains; develop relationships with key stakeholders; and represent Hennepin County in metro area and regional disparities reduction efforts. The new position will focus and coordinate Hennepin County’s efforts to reduce disparities to have a more profound, lasting effect and set the vision moving forward.

Tittle has worked in several roles related to equity and diversity, most recently as vice president of business connect and corporate affairs for the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee. He also served as equity director for the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority and director of civil rights at the Minnesota Department of Transportation. He served in the U.S. Army, finishing his career as a company commander. 

gears graphic
Just as one gear in a system causes another to begin turning, a disparity in one domain often does not exist alone. It affects other domains, and a cascading effect occurs. For example, poor access to education can lead to underemployment, lower income, substandard housing and/or poor access to health care.

Leading the disparity reduction work, Tittle will be supported by a work team from across the organization with representatives from the focus areas of education, employment, health, housing, income, justice and transportation.

“This new role is a unique opportunity to help Hennepin County advance this vital work,” said Tittle. “I look forward to returning to a role in public service and digging into these long-term disparity trends we need to reverse.”

Disparity reduction is not new work. Hennepin County is placing expanded emphasis on efforts. 

Reducing disparities is critical to the success of the county, the region and the residents we serve," Hough said. "Addressing the differences in these areas from our quality of life to our fiscal responsibility – is simply the right thing to do. These disparities grew over generations and will not change overnight. To be successful now and into the future, we need a different decision-making model that includes the perspective of those whose lives have been impacted by disparities. We are very pleased to have Alex Tittle join us in guiding this very important work.” 

Note to media: Photos are available upon request.

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