Human Relations Commission (HRC)
The Urbana Human Relations Commission is a city board, established by the City Council to end unlawful discrimination within the City of Urbana by enforcing the Urbana Human Rights Ordinance.
The Urbana Human Rights Ordinance prohibits “unlawful discrimination, including, but not limited to, discrimination by reason of race, color, creed, class, national origin, religion, sex, age, marital status, physical and mental disability, personal appearance, sexual preference, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, prior arrest or conviction record or source of income, or any other discrimination based upon categorizing or classifying a person rather than evaluating a person's unique qualifications relevant to an opportunity in housing, employment, credit or access to public accommodations.” (Chapter 12 of the City Code)
In fulfillment of its mission, the Commission:
- Advises and consults with the mayor and city council on all matters involving racial, religious, gender, ethnic, disability or sexual orientation related prejudice or discrimination, and recommends such legislative action deemed appropriate to implement the Urbana Human Rights Ordinance;
- Collaborating with the mayor, city council, city departments, agencies and officials in securing equal services to all residents;
- Adjudicates complaints of unlawful discrimination filed with the city, in accordance with the provisions of the Urbana Human Rights Ordinance;
- Plans and implements programs aimed at eliminating discrimination as defined in the Urbana Human Rights Ordinance;
- Enforces and administers the City’s equal opportunity program in purchasing and contracting in connection with the expenditure of public moneys (Chapter 2-119 of the City Code);
- Initiates investigations into potentially discriminatory conduct which might come to the attention of the commission in the absence of a specific complaint.
- Protects the rights of all persons to secure equal enjoyment of employment, public accommodations and facilities and to receive equal treatment from all holders of licenses, contracts or privileges from the city and within city government; and
- Engages in efforts to resolve community tensions that arise from racial, ethnic, religious and social differences and working to stimulate active involvement of the business, religious and education sectors of the community to encourage full and equal opportunity for all persons.
The Human Relations Commission was established in 1975. Chapter 12 of the City Code sets the Commission’s jurisdiction, powers and duties. Chapter 12 also covers various aspects of the Commission’s operations, including: how complaints can be made, what happens to them once they are received, how they are investigated, how they are resolved, and how the commission decides complaints.