Establishing the County of San Diego
Human Rights Commission Plan
San Diego County is a diverse region comprised of people of a wide range of racial, religious and ethnic groups. This diversity must be celebrated and protected. Discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, place of birth, citizenship, marital status, military service, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws, will not be tolerated. To honor and serve the diversity of the residents in San Diego County, we must establish a Human Rights Commission to help educate our region, mediate disagreements between diverse groups, foster understanding, promote tolerance, and build bridges between our diverse communities.
San Diego County is made up of residents that are from various religious, racial and ethnic groups. According to the Federal Equal Opportunity Commission, it is illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or gender. The purpose of a Human Rights Commission is to coordinate and educate the public with various programs focused on bringing groups together to bring positive cohesion to the community and to close gaps. Municipalities across the United States have benefitted from the effectiveness of Human Rights Commissions that have been empowered to create collaborative communities and improve race and human relations in their respective jurisdictions. Successful programs can reduce tensions and encourage a coordinated and united community with various community groups.
The proposed County of San Diego Human Rights Commission will consist of seven Commissioners appointed by The Board of Supervisors. Commissioners will be appointed by their respective Supervisors to provide guidance and to focus on Human Relations issues facing the region. Once appointed, the Commissioners will serve four-year terms and will select a chairman to drive the agenda of each monthly meeting.
III. Commission Powers:
- The Commission will create a yearly report with recommendations to the Board of Supervisors on items that can enhance County programming to be more inclusive and provide educational components for additional effectiveness.
- County departments and staff will use the commission as a resource to review programs and ensure that all guidelines set by the Commission are met.
- If necessary, mediate disagreements between groups or communities of diverse backgrounds.
- Process countywide complaints against businesses or organizations accused of discrimination based on any of the criteria mentioned above.
- Prepare and distribute educational materials aimed at combating discrimination and abuse.
- Investigate and mediate instances of discrimination.
IV. Notable Human Rights Commissions in Other Municipalities:
- County of Los Angeles
- City and County of San Francisco
- City of San Diego
United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
County of Los Angeles Human Relations
City & County of San Francisco Human Rights Commission Overview
City of San Diego Human Rights Commission