Human Relations Commission

Boards, Commissions & Committees

Human Relations Commission - February 16, 2017 Minutes

Regular Meeting: Thursday: February 16, 2017:

A Regular Meeting of the Board of Human Relations Commissioners of the City of Fargo, North Dakota, was held in the City Commission Room at City Hall at 12:00 o’clock p.m., Thursday, February 16, 2017.

The Human Relations Commissioners present or absent were as follows:

Present: Rachel Hoffman, Abdiwali Sharif-Abdinasir, Barry Nelson,
Keith Bjornson, Paul Jensen, David Lanpher, Laetitia Hellerud

Absent: Tanya RedRoad, Hassan Lamba

Also Present: Willard Yellow Bird, Kara Gloe, Commissioner John Strand, Esther Saavedra, Dan Mahli, Vince Kempf (Fargo Police)

Item 1. Welcome and Introductions
Chair Hoffman welcomed Members to the meeting and introduction were made.

Item 2. Approve Order of Agenda & Minutes: Regular Meeting December 15, 2016
Mr. Lanpher moved the Order of Agenda and the minutes of the December 15, 2016 Human Relations Commission meeting be approved. Second by Mr. Nelson. All Members present voted aye and the motion was declared carried.

Item 3. 2017 Budget Approval
Chair Hoffman presented the proposed 2017 budget, noting the budget includes a breakdown of recurring, anticipated sponsorships the Board reviews for approval each year as well as funds to be used for additional requests.

Mr. Nelson moved to approve the intent of the proposed budget. Second by Mr. Lanpher. All Members present voted aye and the motion was declared carried.

Budget Requests
The following funding requests were reviewed:

1) Community Action Partnership of North Dakota – Regions 8 and 10 Community Action Conference funding request for $1,000

Board Members decided to delay a decision to approve this funding request until more information is received on what the funding would go towards.

2) Lutheran Social Services funding request for $1,000 to assist with costs of the Building Bridges Conference on March 28-29, 2017

Chair Hoffman noted that $500 has already been approved in accordance with the anticipated, recurring sponsorships that were approved with the annual budget. Board Members declined to approve an increase in this request up to $1,000, since it is still early in the year.

Item 4. Public Comment (12:10)
No public comments were made.

Item 5. Hate Speech Response Update Committee
Chair Hoffman requested volunteers to form a sub group to work on revising the “Hate Speech Response Plan”. Mr. Nelson and Mr. Lanpher agreed to be part of that group.

Item 6. Legislative Statements
Chair Hoffman presented the legislative statements previously approved by the Human Relations Commission for HB1427 and HB1386. Ultimately, HB1427 converted to a study of the refugee resettlement program costs. The House of Representatives approved the study, without the proposed amendment to add the benefits, in addition to the costs of the program. HB1386 did not pass the House of Representatives.

Item 7. Immediate Response Plan
Chair Hoffman asked the Board if the immediate response plan used to create and release the above statements worked for Board Members. Mr. Nelson stated he believes having an immediate response plan is important, as many issues are time sensitive. Mr. Lanpher stated the procedure is fine, as long as the Board stays compliant with open meeting requirements.

Item 8. New American Working Group Presentation to City Commission
Mr. Nelson informed the Board of the options available to the working group for presenting to the City Commission. After much discussion, the Board decided it would be best to choose a later presentation date to ensure all key players could attend. As such, the Board decided to delay approval of the written report portion of the presentation to the City Commission.

Item 9. Executive Committee New Member
Chair Hoffman explained the time commitment of the Executive Committee, noting plans to revise the leadership roles, and requested volunteers. Mr. Jensen volunteered to serve on this committee.

Item 10. Other Business and Announcements
Mr. Jensen recommended a public relations campaign that would include billboards and other visuals to demonstrate commonality of our community, despite political divisiveness. He asked how the Board could fund the campaign. In response, Chair Hoffman stated that the Board could collaborate with nonprofits.

Community Development Administrator Dan Mahli pointed out that billboards are in the City’s right-of-way, the City has a television channel, and the City owns buses. He added these avenues are available to the Human Relations Commission, but require planning. He further suggested the possibility of creating a communications subcommittee.

Discussion was held regarding the campaign’s efforts to further the work of the Human Relations Commission, in addition to helping various groups of marginalized people.

Mr. Bjornson stated that he has initiated an e-mail with several City officials regarding access issues for people with mobility impairments.

Mr. Nelson stated the North Dakota Human Rights Coalition (NDHRC) received a grant to develop a hate crimes response team; collect data on hate crimes; and create a “Know Your Rights” campaign. He added the period for this project is six months and the NDHRC would like to work with the Human Relations Commission as they go forward.

Cultural Planner Willard Yellow Bird read a thank you note from FM Pride Collective.

Community Development Assistant Kara Gloe pointed out a piece of the packet regarding a project being done at Concordia College called Narrative 4 Story Exchange. She stated the project is looking for participants. Ms. Gloe noted she will forward the e-mail regarding this project to the group.

Mr. Yellow Bird informed the group of a talk by his brother, Michael Yellow Bird, about Decolonizing Water which will be held at the Plains Art Museum from 6 p.m.–7 p.m. tonight. In addition, he is giving a talk on Native American History and Values at the First Congregation United Church from 7 p.m.–8:30 p.m. tonight.

Item 11. Adjourn
The time at adjournment was 1:02 p.m.