|City Manager's Office|
|Kelly Stachowicz, Deputy City Manager|
|Fourth Thursday of each month at 6:30pm|
|Number of Members|
|7 Regular members|
|1 Alternative member|
|6 Ex-officio members representing the following: faith-based organization; high school student; UCD ASUCD; Police Department; UC Davis; DJUSDV|
The Human Relations Commission's original mission statement said it was created "to promote mutual respect, understanding and tolerance between all persons."
Revised in 2003, the mission statement now reads "seeks to build a community in Davis where: relationships between diverse peoples are valued by all; the voices of the voiceless are heard; discrimination and hate are not tolerated, and citizens can address issues dealing with hatred, discrimination and alienation."
The function and purpose posted on the City of Davis website, states that the commission "works to promote cohesiveness and understanding among the members of the community by advising the City Council on the development of programs related to mediating disputes, investigating complaints, hearing and preparing reports on discrimination of all kinds in the city."
The Human Relations Commission recommends recipients for the City's annual Thong H. Huynh Awards.
In the mid-1980's, in the wake of a fatal racially-motivated stabbing at Davis Senior High School, the City created the Human Relations Commission.The Commission provides a forum for discussion of human relations issues, including ethnic and racial issues and civil rights. Representatives of the City, including liaisons from the City Council, the Davis police department and the city manager's office, and often the City Manager and the Chief of Police themselves, have attended the Commission's monthly meetings. The ability of community members to discuss their concerns,in a setting away from the political spotlight of a Council meeting, provides new opportunities for communication and resolution.
The HRC's mission and function has been questioned from time to time over the years. In 2005-2006, the commission responded to stories about possible police misconduct - Police misconduct stories - and recommended to the City Council that a police oversight commission be established. The Council decided to go another route and created a 3-member panel and an ombudsman to handle citizen complaints.
At the June 27th City Council meeting the council voted 4-1 (Greenwald voting no) to put the Commission on hiatus for two months, as well asked for the resignation of all of its current members. Council members cited a fractured community, a failure on the part of the HRC to work with each other or the council and an abandoned mission statement as reasons for the dismissal. The City Council has made it clear that there will be a Human Relations Commission come September 2006, after re-evaluating its mission statement and tasks that it should be undertaking. Though past commission members can re-apply for appointment, former Chair, Cecelia Escamilla Greenwald, and Vice Chair, Diane Carlson, have stated that they will not be doing so.
As of September the Davis City Council was advised to reconstitute the Human Relations Commission, but the new commission is to avoid issues involving Davis Police oversight. These issues are handled by the Davis Police Community Advisory Board instead.
The City Council re-authorized the Human Relations Commission in October of 2007 through Resolution No. 07-125.
Past Voting Members
- John Dixon
- Arthur Clinton
- Shelly Bailes, Vice Chair
- Anne Evans
- Steven D. Lee
- Najme Minhaj, Chair
- Ann Privateer
- Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald Chair
- Bill Calhoun
- Hamza Elnakal
- Herbert Bauer
- Diane Carlson
- Riley Evans
- Chithra Lakshmanan
- Elisa Levy
- John Pamperin Commissioner Emeritus
- Patricia Snowdon
- Carol StandingElk Alternate
- Tanvir Kappoor
2008 Najme Minhaj 2007 John Dixon 2006 Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald and John Dixon (as Interim Chair) 2005 Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald 2004 Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald 2003 Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald 2002 Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald 2001 Bill Ritter Stephen Souza (sometime between 1989-1996)
The Davis Police Department has some real issues that adversely affect many young people in Davis. The Davis Police Department requires substantial oversight. The old Human Relations Commission was dead on in its effort to reign in an out of control police organization and they should be praised for that effort. The people who should have provided the leadership were the prior City Manager Jim Antonen (the DPD reports to the City Manager), the Mayor Ruth Asmundson and Larry Vanderhoef as UCD leader. All of the supposed leaders of Davis failed to take action despite knowing that action was needed - they failed the community. —Steve Hayes