Deadline for comments on proposed Oklahoma City Human Rights Commission order extended

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma City officials have extended the comment period on the Human Rights Commission’s draft order.

The deadline has been pushed back to July 5.

The city council is expected to consider passing the ordinance on July 19.

Residents can view the proposed order online and share their thoughts in an online feedback form. Human Rights Commission Task Force meetings can be viewed on the City’s YouTube account.

The Human Rights Commission will have multiple functions, including the responsibility to address alleged harms to people who have been discriminated against because of their race, color, religion, creed, sex, gender, national origin, age , family status, genetic information, or disability related to employment, housing, and public accommodations under Oklahoma’s anti-discrimination law, according to city officials.

The ordinance, if passed, would also establish a nine-member human rights commission.

Each member of the city council would recommend to the mayor a person to represent their ward on the commission. The mayor appoints an at-large person who would serve as the chair of the commission. A member must be a lawyer, according to city officials.

The Commission’s responsibilities include the following:

  • Coordinate with the community, including public and private agencies, to promote human rights.
  • Work with law enforcement by reporting violations or apparent violations of anti-discrimination laws.
  • Mediation of complaints alleging violations of anti-discrimination law.
  • Recommend studies or surveys that promote anti-discrimination policies.
  • Produce an annual report of the commission’s activities.
  • Establish advisory committees to assist the commission.
  • Participate in at least one educational event per year that promotes human rights.

Oklahoma City‘s first Human Rights Commission began in 1980 but was repealed in 1996.

Mayor David Holt created the Human Rights Commission Task Force in 2020. He named Ward 7 Councilor Nikki Nice, Maurianna Adams and Dr. Andrea Benjamin co-chairs of the commission.

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