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City Council Votes to Revamp Human Rights Commission

By Emily Girsch.
City Council voted 6 to 1 in favor of a law that would revamp the Human Rights Commission Wednesday night.

As part of a plan to improve the commission, Mayor David proposed a law that would prematurely end the terms of all sitting commissioners and nominate new ones.

Deputy Mayor Jared Kraham said the commission had become too politicized for a government agency.

"There was never an attempt to scuttle the commission," he said.

"We want a stronger commission that has more legitimacy in the community and that's what was accomplished tonight."

Members of the commission spoke in protest of the legislation, saying it was an overreach of power and part of a Republican agenda.

Council members gave public remarks as well, at times getting a little heated.

"The Human Rights Commission by definition is an entity of city government and you do not own a monopoly on justice," said Republican councilman Giovanni Scaringi.

All six commissioners from the commission said they would refuse reappointment if the law was passed.

"We need a body that can both pursue justice and represent our residents and isn't beholden to a mayor or a partisan agenda on city council," said Commissioner Sean Massey.