What is the Annapolis Human Relations Commission?
The Commission is a City board that seeks to ensure equal opportunity in Annapolis. The Commission was established in 1963 and consists of 15 Annapolis residents appointed by the Mayor with the approval of City Council. Commissioners are volunteers.
What does the Commission do?
- Handle complaints of citizens relating to discrimination in public accommodations, employment, housing and residential real estate, commercial real estate, financial lending, recreation, and education.
- Hold public hearings about the treatment of citizens in these matters.
- Serve as mediators to resolve disagreements in human relations areas.
- Conduct public programs, do surveys, and issue reports on human relations.
- Make recommendations to the Mayor and the City Council for legislation or other action regarding human relations practices.
What kinds of discrimination can the Commission investigate?
The Commission can accept complaints of discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age, marital status, familial status, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation and (in housing matters) source of income.
How does the Commission handle a complaint of discrimination?
If the Commission determines that a complaint may have merit, it will first try to resolve the problem through mediation. That is, Commissioners will facilitate a discussion between the party who has made the complaint and the party against whom it has been filed. The goal of mediation is an agreement that satisfies both sides. If mediation does not work, or if the party against whom the complaint has been filed refuses to meet, the Commission may refer the case to appropriate state or federal agencies with a recommendation that it be investigated. In housing cases, the Commission may hold a public hearing to determine whether the complaint has validity. If the hearing shows that an illegal act has taken place, the Commission shall issue orders as appropriate or refer the case to the appropriate local and state agencies for action.
How do I file a complaint?
Contact the Commission at 410-263-7998 or HRCommission@annapolis.gov. To register a complaint, a form must be completed and returned. The Commission’s Complaints Committee will consider the complaint and make a recommendation to the Commission. The Commission will discuss the complaint at its next meeting.
Can I attend meetings of the Commission?
All meetings are open to the public. For information about the time, date, and location of Commission meetings, call 410-263-7998 or e-mail HRCommission@annapolis.gov. If you are an Annapolis resident and are interested in serving on the Commission, please contact the City at the above telephone number or e-mail address.