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Chapter 204 Human Rights Commission
204.01: Policy
204.02: Establishment of Commission
204.03: Purpose
204.04: Membership; Terms and Removal
204.05: Duties

204.01: POLICY:
It is hereby declared that it is the public policy of the city to fulfill its responsibility as a partner of the state department of human rights in securing for all citizens equal opportunity in housing, employment, public accommodations, public services and education, and to work consistently to improve the human relations climate of the city. (Ord. 566, 2-19-1968)

There is hereby established within the city a human rights commission. (Ord. 566, 2-19-1968)

204.03: PURPOSE:
The purpose of the commission is to secure for all citizens equal opportunity in employment, housing, public accommodations, public services and education and full participation in the affairs of this community by assisting the state department of human rights in implementing the Minnesota Human Rights Act and by advising the City Council on long range programs to improve community relations in the city. Additionally the commission will work to increase the sense of community by reaching out to all members of the community and ensuring that our city government and its activities, programs and services are accessible understandable and responsive to all. (Ord. 566, 2-19-1968; amd. 1995 Code, Ord. 1324, 08-08-2005) (Ord. 1381, 04-27-2009)

A. Membership: The commission shall consist of seven members, to be appointed by the City Council. Members of the commission shall be appointed with due regard to their fitness for the efficient dispatch of the functions, powers and duties vested in and imposed upon the commission. In addition to the members appointed above, the City Council may for one year terms appoint additional residents of the city under 21 years of age to serve as (ex officio) members of the human rights commission. (Ord. 1253, 6-26-2001) (Ord. 1313, 12-6-2004)
B. Terms: The first commission shall consist of four members appointed for a term of three years, three members for a term of two years, and three members for a term of one year. Members of the commission shall be appointed for terms of three years, except that any person appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which such member's predecessor was appointed, shall be appointed only for the remainder of such term. Upon the expiration of such member's term of office, a member shall continue to serve until such member's successor is appointed and shall have qualified.
C. Compensation; Removal: The members of the commission shall serve without compensation, and may be removed from office by a 4/5 vote of the City Council. (Ord. 566, 2-19-1968)

204.05: DUTIES:
In fulfillment of its purpose, the commission's duties and responsibilities shall be to:
A. Adopt bylaws and rules for the conduct of its affairs including the election, assumption of duties and definition of responsibilities of officers and committees.
B. Enlist the cooperation of agencies, organizations and individuals in the community in an active program directed to create equal opportunity and eliminate discrimination and inequalities.
C. Formulate a human relations program for the city to give increased effectiveness and direction to the work of all individuals and agencies addressing themselves to planning, policy making and educational programming in the area of civil and human rights.
D. Advise the mayor, the City Council and other agencies of the government of human relations and civil rights problems. Act in an advisory capacity with respect to planning or operation of any city department on issues of civil and human rights and recommend the adoption of such specific policies or actions as are needed to provide for full equal opportunity in the community.
E. Develop such programs of formal and informal education as will assist in the implementation of the Minnesota state act against discrimination, and provide for the commission's assumption of leadership in recognizing and resolving potential problem areas in the community. (Ord. 566, 2-19-1968; amd. 1995 Code)
F. Monitor statistical and other data trends in our city and identify and recommend to the city council ways to encourage mutual understanding among our citizens about the community’s diversity through, but not limited to:
1. connecting and partnering with neighborhood, community, educational, business and social services groups and organizations;
2. co-sponsoring citywide neighborhood or facilitating community events which would include opportunities for heritage and cultural events; and
3. programs for engaging citizens and community leaders in a holistic approach including dialogues, education and training about diversity issues.
(Ord. 1381, 4-27-2009)

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