Human Relations Commission

Boards, Commissions & Committees

Human Relations Commission - December 20, 2018 Minutes

The 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 p.m., Thursday, December 20, 2018.

The Human Relations Commissioners present or absent were as follows:

Present: Rachel Hoffman, Cheryl Schaefle, Laetitia Hellerud, Matuor Alier, Paul Jensen, Barry Nelson, Hamida Dakane

Absent: David Lanpher, Abdiwali Sharif-Abdinasir

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

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

Item 3. Approve Minutes
Member Jensen moved the Minutes of the November 15, 2018 Human Relations 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
Christian Harris, Executive Director of the New American Consortium, shared a new Peace Initiative being worked on for the Fargo, West Fargo, and Moorhead communities that will work towards prevention. He would like to make a formal presentation to the Commission at a future meeting.

Chair Nelson stated we would place this item on a future Agenda.

Item 5. ADA Update: City Report
Planning Director Nicole Crutchfield presented a verbal report stating that the City of Fargo and State of North Dakota follow Federal mandates for the Americans with Disabilities Act. She noted that the review authority for these mandates is not at the local level, but at the federal level.

She noted that the City has an obligation to follow Title XI and to take care of City facilities. She shared that it is important to recognize that accessibility can be accommodated in different ways regrading equal access, audio and visual abilities, and other constraints.

Assistant City Administrator Michael Redlinger spoke on maintaining compliance for facilities as a City entity. He noted that the Buildings and Grounds staff works to maintain ADA compliance, and that at this time the Buildings and Grounds Manager serves as the ADA facilitator. Mr. Redlinger also pointed out that the City Building Inspector, Bruce Taralson, is available to the City and Public to assist with code interpretation and ADA compliance.

Mr. Redlinger shared that the City will be hiring a Director of Facilities Management in 2019 with the task of sustainability, accessibility, and performance contracting. He stated we want to create a more comprehensive vision for City facilities.

Commissioner John Strand stated this should be a high priority for the City, and set forth a challenge to remember former Human Relations Commission Member Keith Bjornson in this work to honor is life legacy of working for accessibility for all.

Discussion was held regarding accessibility for the new City Hall. Mr. Redlinger stated that a payment drop box will be installed, and sidewalk sanding efforts have been increased.

Item 6. Human Rights Film Festival Wrap Up: Sean Coffman
Sean Coffman shared his thanks to the Human Relations Commission for their support of the Human Rights Film Festival that took place in November. He distributed the program from the event to the Board and provided an overview of the event.

Mr. Coffman shared information about an upcoming Art Festival to be held at the Plains Art Museum on January 8, 2019.

He also noted a collaboration event with the NDSU Memorial Art Gallery, to be held in January, as an additional opportunity to see more films from the Film Festival along with human rights speakers.

Item 7. Changing Our Environment (COE) Committee Update: Greg Lemke, Rape & Abuse Crisis Center
Katie Christensen, Changing Our Environment Committee, gave a brief presentation on the work the Committee is doing with the Rape & Abuse Crisis Center to prevent power based violence at a community level.

Ms. Christensen provided an overview of the Green Dot program, and its intent to be a community effort to stop violence and not let it be dismissed. She shared that the program trains people to stop or prevent the violence by directly talking to the perpetrator or victim, delegating other authority to intervene, or distracting the situation to draw attention away from the violent situation.

Discussion was held on the curriculum, training, and outreach.

Ms. Christensen shared that she is looking for 1-2 volunteers to be a part of a focus group to gather further information, and that they are hoping to do a program launch in 9-12 months. She also shared that they would like the program to grow to facilitate bystander intervention training in the future.

Discussion continued on the targeted outreach area of this program.

Members Schaeffle, Dakane, and Hellerud volunteered to be a part of the focus group.

Assistant Planner Kara Gloe recommended Ms. Christensen reach out to the Native American Commission.

Item 8. Strategic Planning Update
Chair Nelson shared that the Strategic Planning meeting held December 18 went very well. He noted that the next step would be to schedule a follow-up meeting with the Board and the consultant group, Reach Partners, stating the preference of having evening meetings and shorter sessions.

Planning Coordinator Tia Braseth shared availability dates that Reach Partners have open for follow-up meetings. She stated that a Doodle poll would be sent out to determine the best dates, and that each member should receive an email survey to complete regarding the first meeting.

Commissioner Strand shared that he would like the Commission to look at updating its mission, and possibly updating the title to the Human Right Commission.

Item 9. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Update
Member Hellerud shared that the event planning is going well and is on schedule for January 21, 2019.

Ms. Gloe shared that a videographer has been hired and that a Request for Quotes (RFP) has been submitted for a photographer and ASL interpreter. She shared the goal is to make the event as accessible as possible for all participants.

Ms. Gloe shared that posters are available for distribution.

Item 10. Attendance Policy & Staff December Attendance Report
Office Associate Miranda Wolf provided an overview of the attendance responses for the December meeting.

Discussion was held regarding clarification of the meeting call-in availability.

Item 11. Other Business
Chair Nelson noted that Savanna’s Law is in currently in-front of Congress. He suggested reaching out to the local House member to encourage to bill the move forward to completion.

Member Jensen absent.

Member Strand extended congratulations to Member Dakane for recently becoming an American Citizen. Member Alier shared his wife also recently became a citizen.

Ms. Braseth noted the attendance policy could be re-written for further clarification and brought back before the Board.

Member Hellerud shared that her efforts to contact the Winnipeg Human Relations Commission to coordinate a joint meeting and a visit to the Human Rights Museum have not been successful. She encouraged Board members to make the trip to Winnipeg to visit the Human Rights Museum and the Nelson Mandela exhibit before it ends on January 6, 2019.

Item 12. Staff Reports
Ms. Braseth shared that tomorrow, December 21, is National Homeless Persons Memorial Day. She shared that a walk will be held starting at 6:45 p.m. from the First Presbyterian Church parking lot to the First Lutheran Church parking lot, and followed up by a Memorial Event at 7:00 p.m. at the First Lutheran Church.

Item 13. Public Comment
No public comment was provided.

Item 14. Adjourn
The time at adjournment was 1:06 p.m.