New human rights commission could be heading to Golden Valley

By Sue Webber
Contributing Writer

A revamped Human Rights Commission is closer to reality in Golden Valley.

The Golden Valley City Council on Feb. 19 approved on first reading amendments to the city code that would replace the entire current ordinance for the Human Rights Commission. The council will vote on the amended ordinance after a second reading on March 5.

The new ordinance specifies that the commission will be composed of nine member serving three-year staggered terms. Appointments to the commission, the ordinance said, will “reflect the ethnic, cultural, religious and other diversity of the city.”

“We hope to get two youths on the commission,” Councilmember Paula Pentel said. “We have two school districts and a number of private schools in the community. We’re looking for high school students looking to give back to the community who want to have something to put on their college applications about civic engagements.”

Pentel said she hopes the commission will be up and running within several months.

The newly-formed group will decide on its own chairperson and vice chairperson, according to Pentel, who added that the group “will have a definite work plan.”

Mayor Shep Harris noted that the new ordinance incorporates suggestions made by a task force that met to consider how the city’s Human Rights Commission should be reconfigured.

“We had very good youth representation on the task force,” Harris said. “They were very engaged in the process.”