Friday, March 6, 2015

Exclusive: Ivy Taylor Proposes Office Of Diversity And Inclusion

Posted By on Fri, Mar 6, 2015 at 3:37 PM

  • San Antonio Current

After San Antonio amended its non-discrimination ordinance to include protections for gender identity and sexual orientation, the Alamo City was criticized for not having a concrete process to handle the disputes.

To help centralize NDO complaints, Mayor Ivy Taylor announced a proposed Office of Diversity and Inclusion to handle complaints and work toward reaching resolutions in the cases. Taylor wants to hire a human relations liaison to work as the central point of contact within the proposed office.

“With City Council approval, at the mid-year budget adjustment, this position will serve as a perfect complement to our fully-functional website that focuses on receiving and processing written complaints," Taylor said. "The proposed Office of Diversity and Inclusion focuses on promoting the value that diverse populations bring to our community, including promoting contracting and employment opportunities within the City.“ 

The human relations liaison will review all written complaints and respond to people by phone and in person between all of the parties involved in alleged cases of discrimination.

The NDO was amended in 2013 under former mayor Julian Castro and after Taylor was appointed to fill the position last year, she told the San Antonio Current that she would direct city staff to develop enforcement mechanisms, streamline the complaint process and create a website for people to file complaints through.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion would also provide training and educational outreach concerning the city's non-discrimination policies.

So far, 13 NDO complaints involving public accommodations, city contractor employment, city services and housing have been filed with the city.

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