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Human Rights Commission Meeting Minutes - September 15, 2022

The Regular Meeting of the Board of Human Rights Commission of the City of Fargo, North Dakota, was held in the Commission Chambers at City Hall at 12:00 p.m., Thursday, September 15, 2022.

The Human Rights Commissioners present or absent were as follows:

Present: Matuor Alier, Sarah Boonstoppel, Hamida Dakane, Barry Nelson, Cheryl Schaefle, Cody Severson, Ahmed Shiil

Absent: Carolyn Becraft, Nancy Boyle

Item 1. Welcome and Introductions
Chair Severson welcomed Members to the meeting and introductions were made.

Item 2. Approve Order of Agenda
Member Alier moved the Order of Agenda be approved, adding an extra item to provide an Update on MLK Day. Second by Member Dakane. All Members present voted aye and the motion was declared carried.

Item 3. Approve Order of Minutes
Member Nelson moved the minutes of the August 18, 2022 Human Rights Commission meeting be approved as presented. Second by Member Alier. All Members present voted aye and the motion was declared carried.

Item 4. Public Comment
Wess Philome spoke about his frustration with the Human Rights Commission. He said he is requesting that the Human Rights Commission recommend to the City Commission to hire an independent firm to look into the death of Shane Netterville and Andrew Martinez.

Commissioner Denise Kolpack said she feels that the HRC has heard the request and it is now up to the HRC to take the request under advisement.

Member Nelson moved to forward the request into looking at the process of responding to a request to bring in an independent investigator, involving the Police Advisory and Oversight Committee and the DEI Director in the process and to send the recommendation to the City Commission. Second by Member Shiil. All Members present voted aye and the motion was declared carried.

Member Schaefle said she feels that the HRC as a whole will not be able to look at this request so she thinks that a Committee may need to be appointed to work on the request.

Faith Shields Dixon said she would like to know what the protocol is for getting things placed on the agenda. She said maybe the HRC can have that discussion so that other people trying to place items on the agenda know the process.

Item 5. Statement about flyers around Woodrow Wilson
Dr. Hogan said when the flyers circulated around the Woodrow Wilson apartment complex he was notified of that and he did an interview with WDAY denouncing the flyers on behalf of the City of Fargo and the HRC.

Item 6. Feedback from the Human Rights Commissioners on Strategic Plan
Member Severson said he would like to have a small discussion about the Strategic and Work Plan that had been worked on prior to Dr. Hogan being here and to continue that work so people knew which areas they would like to delve into.

Member Nelson said he has forgotten where he was at and feels like they are starting from ground zero. He said a lot of work needs to be done.

Member Severson said he will bring the topic up again next month and will distribute responsibilities to the Members at that time.

Item 7. Update from Dr. Hogan regarding DEI Initiatives/Race Exhibit
Dr. Hogan said quite a few individuals have come through the exhibit and listening circles. He said the exhibit was supposed to end this month, but he contacted the YWCA and the City may have the exhibit until the end of October.

Item 8. Update on the MLK, Jr. Day
Dr. Hogan said he will be putting a pause on the choir that he was looking at bringing in from out of state. He said they will be reaching out to Reach Partners and will be utilizing them and other local partners.

Commissioner Kolpack said they are also reaching out to the Fargo Youth Commission to co-partner on this event.

Item 9. Announcements
Member Boonstoppel provided a statement of support to the City Commission to add oral contraceptive coverage to the City of Fargo’s health plan.

Member Boonstoppel moved that the Human Rights Commission supports the addition of contraceptive coverage for Fargo City employees and recommends the Fargo City Commission add the coverage as designated among the more than 50 new preventative services offered as part of the newly proposed 2023 healthcare benefits for employees. Second by Member Alier. All Members present voted aye and the motion was declared carried.

Member Alier said More Inclusive Moorhead is hosting an event in Gooseberry Park on Sunday from 3:30-6:30 p.m. and all are welcome.

Dr. Hogan said there will be clean-up at International Market at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Member Nelson said he would encourage all of the HRC Members to come and show their support. He said he would also like to let everyone know on October 14-16th is the 5th Annual ND LGBTQ Summit in Mandan.

Member Severson said the FM LGBTQ Film Festival is going on now through the weekend at the Fargo Theatre.

Item 10. Staff Updates
There were no staff updates.

Item 12. Adjourn
The time at adjournment was 1:10 p.m.