OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – City of Oklahoma City officials extended the comment period for the proposed Human Rights Commission ordinance.

The deadline has been extended to July 5.

The City Council is expected to consider the ordinance’s adoption on July 19.

Residents can review the proposed ordinance online and share their opinion in an online comment form. Human Rights Commission Task Force meetings can be viewed on the City’s YouTube account.

The Human Rights Commission will have multiple duties, including responsibility for addressing alleged harm to people who have been discriminated against because of their race, color, religion, creed, sex, gender, national origin, age, familial status, genetic information, or disability related to employment, housing and public accommodations under the Oklahoma Anti-Discrimination Law, according to city officials.

The ordinance, if passed, would also establish a nine-member Human Rights Commission.

Each City Council member would recommend to the mayor a person to represent their ward in the commission. The mayor appoints a person at large who would serve as the commission chair. One member must be a lawyer, according to city officials.

Commission responsibilities include the following:

  • Coordinating with the community, including public and private agencies, to promote human rights.
  • Working with law enforcement agencies by referring violations or apparent violations of anti-discrimination laws to them.
  • Mediating complaints alleging violations of the anti-discrimination law.
  • Recommending studies or surveys that promote anti-discrimination policies.
  • Producing an annual report of the commission’s activities.
  • Establishing advisory committees to help the commission.
  • Participating in at least one educational event annually 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Oklahoma City’s first Human Rights Commission began in 1980 but was repealed in 1996.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 Councilwoman Nikki Nice, Maurianna Adams and Dr. Andrea Benjamin commission co-chairs.