Boards, Commissions & Committees

Human Relations Commission Meeting Minutes - October 21, 2021

The Regular Meeting of the Board of Human Relations Commissioners of the City of Fargo, North Dakota, was held in the Commission Chambers at City Hall at 12:00 p.m., Thursday, October 21, 2021.

The Human Relations Commissioners present or absent were as follows:

Present: Abdiwali Sharif-Abdinasir, Cheryl Schaefle, Matuor Alier, Barry Nelson, Hamida Dakane, Ahmed Shiil, Carolyn Becraft, Jed Locquiao, Sarah Boonstoppel

Absent: Nancy Boyle, Cody Severson

Item 1. Welcome and Introductions
Chair Alier welcomed Members, including New Members Jed Locquiao and Sarah Boonstoppel, to the meeting and introductions were made.

Item 2. Approve Order of Agenda
Member Becraft moved the Order of Agenda be approved as presented. Second by Member Nelson. All Members present voted aye and the motion was declared carried.

Item 3. Approve Order of Minutes
Member Schaefle moved the minutes of the July 15, 2021 Human Relations Commission meeting be approved as presented. Second by Member Dakane. All Members present voted aye and the motion was declared carried.

Item 4. Public Comment
Fargo Police Chief David Zibolski provide an update on local Hate Crime updates and reports.

Member Sharif-Abdinasir present.

Discussion was held on the review process, resident education, bridging language barriers, and reporting process

Item 5. Presentation: Dr. Terry Hogan, City of Fargo Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Dr. Terry Hogan gave a presentation on strategies to integrate the mission and vision of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) position. He stated the Human Relations Commission (HRC) is here to serve the people and educate the public on what the HRC does in regard to civil rights. Goals would be educating the public as a priority engaging the public passionately and establishing a purposeful identity by changing the name of the commission.

Discussion was held on changing the name of the Human Relations Commission to the Human Rights Commission, future of the DEI position regarding budget and staffing, and the Police Oversight Review Boards.

Assistant City Attorney Nancy Morris spoke on the process of changing the Commission’s name.

Member Becraft moved to recommend to the City Commission the name change of the Human Relations Commission to Human Rights Commission. Second by Member Dakane. All Members present voted aye and the motion was declared carried.

Item 6. Discrimination Complaint Audit Survey Results
Chair Alier stated in June 2021, the Human Relations Commission moved to support City of Fargo Staff and Human Relations Commission work group one to administer a survey to obtain input on what kind of issues local organizations and their clients may be facing regarding resolving discrimination and civil rights based complaints. He noted survey results are in the packet and this is a preliminary step to more in-depth work in the future.

Discussion was held on the results, including housing discrimination, education and policies.

Assistant Planner Catlyn Christie stated the City of Fargo partners closely with High Plains Fair Housing and collaboration could be done with them.

Discussion continued on landlord accountability, and the High Plains Fair Housing program to check for disparate rental practices.

Item 7. Announcements
Member Nelson provided Board Members with a handout regarding the 5th annual Human Rights Film Festival and the 12th Annual Human Rights Summit will be held November 2-6. He noted the panels will be held at the Plains Art Museum and the films at the Fargo Theatre. He stated the event is free of charge for all activities, masks and proof of vaccine required.

Member Nelson additionally shared that the North Dakota Legislature will be called to special session the week of November 8.

Item 8. Staff Updates
Chair Alier stated the staff report is included in the packet.

Ms. Christie stated that those in need of rental assistance should call 211, FirstLink, and that a weatherization open house will be held October 26, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Community Action to provided education to improve the efficiency of their home

Item 9. Adjourn – Next Meeting November 18, 2021
The time at adjournment was 12:32 p.m.