St. Cloud, MN Human Rights Ordinance
Type: Municipal Code
Section 230 - St. Cloud Human Rights Ordinance
Section 230:00. Findings, Declaration of Policy and Purposes.
Subd. 1. Findings. The Council finds that discrimination defined by Minnesota Statute, Chapter 363A entitled the "Human Rights Act" adversely affects the health, welfare, peace and safety of the community. Such discrimination demeans the dignity of human persons, threatens the rights and privileges of the inhabitants of this City, and menaces the institutions and foundations of democracy. Discriminatory practices that threaten the rights, privileges, and opportunities of any City resident or non-resident are declared to be unlawful, and the adoption of this ordinance is an exercise of the police power of the City to protect such rights.
Subd. 2. Declaration of Policy and Purpose. It is the public policy of the City of St. Cloud and the purpose of this ordinance:
- (a) To encourage all citizens, whether individual or corporate, to join in establishing and preserving full and true equality among all residents and visitors;
- (b) To declare as civil rights the rights of all persons to equal opportunities defined by State and Federal Law;
- (c) To prevent and prohibit any and all discriminatory practices defined by State and Federal Law;
- (d) To protect all persons from unfounded charges of discrimination; and
- (e) To effectuate the foregoing policy by means of public information, and education, mediation, conciliation, and enforcement.
Section 230:30. St. Cloud Human Rights Commission.
Subd. 1. Purpose. The purpose of the Human Rights Commission is to secure for all citizens and visitors equal opportunity in education, employment, housing, public accommodations, and public services, and full participation for all its citizens in the affairs of this community.
Subd. 2. Composition and Qualifications, Appointment and Removal, Compensation.
- (a) The Commission will consist of eleven members. Six of the eleven Commission members must be persons having protected status with at least three of the six members representing different protected categories. No more than six members may be of the same gender. In addition to the eleven Commission members, one City Council member will be appointed by the Council to the Commission as an ex-officio, non-voting member of the Commission.
- (b) All members will be appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the Council and with due regard to their fitness to fulfill the functions, powers, and duties vested in and imposed upon the Commission.
- (c) The Mayor may remove any member of the Commission in the best interests of the City.
- (d) Members of the Commission will serve without compensation.
Subd. 3. Terms of Members, Vacancies, Participation.
- (a) Appointment: At the time of the initial, members of the Commission will be appointed to a terms of three years, except that any person appointed to fill an unexpired term will serve only until the expiration of that term. No person will serve more than two consecutive terms.
- (b) Meetings: The Commission will meet monthly, and may meet additionally at the call of the Chairperson or of any two members.
- (c) Officers: The Commission will at its first meeting in January of each year, elect a Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson. No person will serve more than two consecutive terms as Chairperson or Vice Chairperson. The Staff Assistant for Human Rights will serve as the Recording Secretary for the Commission.
- (i) Chairperson: The Chairperson will preside and maintain order at all Commission meetings in accordance with subd. 4(e) of this ordinance and will make such reports as required by law and as ordered by the Commission to the Mayor and City Council.
- (ii) Vice Chairperson: The Vice Chairperson will fulfill the duties of the Chairperson in the absence of the Chair including the calling of Commission meetings and assist the Chairperson with administrative duties, and monitor the expenditure of funds allocated for human rights through the Commission.
- (d) Procedure: All business of the Commission will be conducted in an orderly and lawful manner, and the Commission will at all times be vigilant to preserve and protect the rights and privacy of both persons having human rights complaints and persons against whom human rights complaints have been made. Specific human rights complaints made against named individuals will not be heard by the Commission. However, the Commission may be addressed by individuals regarding problems and issues generally with due regard for the privacy of all persons. Persons having specific human rights complaints will be referred to the Human Rights Director. Such persons will also be advised of their opportunity to participate in no-fault mediation. Generally, Commission business will be conducted in accordance with Robert's Rules of Parliamentary Procedure except as Robert's Rules may be in conflict with this ordinance in which case this ordinance will govern. The Commission may also enact bylaws, with the approval of the City Council, to govern its own affairs, provided that the bylaws are not in conflict with Robert's Rules or this ordinance. The bylaws of the Commission, and any amendments, will be submitted for approval to the City Council upon their adoption by the Commission. The bylaws and any amendments will be deemed to be approved by the City Council unless the City Council takes action to modify the bylaws or amendments within 30 days after submission to the City Council. The bylaws will not provide for the removal of Commission members by the Commission, but may provide a procedure by which the Commission may recommend removal of a Commission member to the Mayor. The bylaws may include recommendations for the training of Commission members as deemed appropriate by the Commission.
- (e) Public: All meetings of the Commission, records and minutes will be open to the public except as otherwise may be provided by applicable law. Applicable law will govern access to documents for no-fault mediation.
Subd. 5. Duties and Responsibilities.
- (a) The Commission will foster, through education, conferences and public information, general awareness and understanding of human rights issues and laws in the community. The Commission may make recommendations to the Mayor and City Council on legislation and policy changes at any level of government. Except for their advice to the Mayor and City Council, the Commission will not attempt to directly influence the legislation or policy changes the Commission recommends. Individual Commission members may, as individuals or representatives of other organizations, advocate before other legislative or executive bodies as individuals or representatives of other organizations, but they will not represent that they are representing the City of St. Cloud unless so authorized by the Mayor and City Council. The Commission will not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements) any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office. The Commission will limit its efforts to human rights issues as defined by the declared policy and purpose of this ordinance.
- (b) The Commission will enlist the cooperation of agencies, organizations, and individuals in the community, and will cooperate with the human and civil rights agencies of other communities, in an active program directed to create equal opportunities and equal rights for all persons.
- (c) The Commission will advise the Mayor, the City Council and other agencies of the City government on human relations and civil rights issues. The Commission will 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 and equal opportunity in the community.