City of York

Human Relations Commission

City Hall • 101 S. George Street • York, PA 17401
Phone: (717) 846-2926 • Fax: (717) 845-4853
Email: CYHRC@yorkcity.org
Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed for Lunch: 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Please Note that The City of York Human Relations Commission Is Still Operating Under Covid-19 Restrictions. Appointments Are Required for All Visitors. Stay Safe!

CYHRC meeting will be in person On Monday, October 18, 2021 at Council Chambers in City Hall, 101 S. George St. York PA at 7pm. Mask must be worn while in City Hall

If You Believe You Have Been Unlawfully Discriminated Against Please Call: 717-846-2926 OR Email: cyhrc@yorkcity.org

About

The Commission is vested with the authority to administer and enforce the anti-discrimination ordinance of the City of York and may initiate, receive, investigate, and adjudicate complaints charging unlawful discriminatory practices.

The Commission is responsible for enforcing Act 185 of the Codified Ordinances of the City of York and conducts intake and investigations of discrimination complaints in housing, employment and public accommodations. Where probable cause for unlawful discrimination is found, a public hearing is held and a final determination is made by a panel of Commissioners.

The Commission monitors and reports hate crimes and other civil tensions within the City and its surrounding areas, working with local, state and federal agencies. Education and outreach are also important. The Commission engages in workshops, meetings, community outreach and collaborative efforts to promote diversity, equality and non-violence in the City of York and beyond. The Commission advocates for the civil rights of all citizens of the city.

The Commission advocates for city residents by providing technical assistance in the preservation of State and Federal rights where the act of discrimination is outside the city and would have a negative impact on the community. Over 50% of the cases of discrimination outside our jurisdiction are city residents.

The Commission attempts to prevent discrimination through an education, training, and outreach effort and by promoting harmony and good will among groups throughout the community.

Mission

We promote public health, safety, general welfare and the best interests of our residents by assuring equal opportunities and safeguarding their right to public accommodation, secure housing and equal employment in accordance with their fullest capacities regardless of their race, color, familial status, religion, creed, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or use of a support animal.

Goals

Sponsor or Co-sponsor at least 3 public forums or educational seminars, dealing with the prevention of discrimination or fostering of goodwill among groups.

Provide speakers, panelists, or training for at least 5 events throughout the year dealing with discrimination.

Seek the creation of a joint City-County Commission on Human Relations. Continue participating in County and State-wide efforts to reduce prejudice and bias by serving on boards, task forces and committees.

Advocate for the delivery of services to the people of the City of York without regard to their race, color, familial status, religious creed, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, disability, sexual orientation or use of a support animal.

Meetings

Meetings are held the 3rd Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at York City Council Chambers, 101 S. George St York, PA 17401.

Summer Recess: No meetings are held during the months of July & August.

Staff

Maribel Burgos, MPA – Administrative Intake Support Specialist

Marc Unger – Investigator

Articles 183 "Fair Housing" Article 185 "Human Relations"
  • Board Members

    Stephanie Seaton (Chair) – Term expires 7/16/22

    Mark Rhodes (Vice-Chair) – Term expires 7/16/23

    Jada Richardson (Secretary/Treasurer) – Term expires 7/16/24

    Mina Edmondson- Term expires 7/16/23

    Rabiya Khan – Term expires 7/16/24

    Debra M. Martinez – Term expires 7/16/24

    Dr. Kenneth F. Woerthwein – Term expires 7/16/23

    Dawn M. Wright – Term expires 7/16/22

    Vacant – (Unexpired term of Harold Myers) – Term expires 7/16/22

    Vacant – (Unexpired term of Jeanne Buckingham) – Term expires 7/16/2023

    Vacant – (Unexpired terms of  Cheril Chronister) – Term expires 7/16/24

  • Bias-Related Incidents

    The City of York Human Relations Commission (CYHRC) is mandated to monitor tension and bias-related incidents in the community and reports all acts of discrimination to local, state and federal agencies.

    A bias-related incident is an action taken by a person or group that is perceived to be malicious toward another person or group based on bias or prejudice. Relating to such characteristics as actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender, age, or gender identity or expression or any situation in which intergroup tensions exist based on such group characteristics.

    In addition to monitoring and reporting these types of activities, the CYHRC works with community groups, civil rights organizations, faith communities, schools and civic associations to address these issues in a positive way for the community.

    To accomplish our purpose, the CYHRC builds cooperative relationships, shares information and resources and coordinates responses with law enforcement and community agents. The Commission also formulates effective strategies offered to schools and communities through technical assistance. This includes programs like conflict resolution, ethnic and cultural diversity issues, racism, community dialogues, hate groups and more.

    The CYHRC also maintains a resource library with books, videos and training materials on issues like race, religions, the holocaust, dealing with disabilities, cultural diversity, equal employment, fair housing, sexual orientation and more. Please contact the Commission for a copy of the resource list, or stop by the office to browse available materials. All resource materials can be checked-out by the public, but must be returned within a specified time.

  • Fair-Housing Discrimination

    Federal, state and local laws guarantee fair housing practices. The City of York Human Relations Commission (CYHRC) investigates and enforces the City of York Fair Housing ordinance to ensure local housing rights are protected.

  • Employment Discrimination

    It is unlawful for any employer, employment agency or labor organization to discriminate against anyone on the basis of race, color, handicap or disability, familial status, religious creed, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or use of support animals with regard to:

    • Wages
    • Benefits
    • Layoffs
    • Promotions
    • Refusal to hire
    • Retaliation
    • Unfair employment practice
    • Terms or conditions of employment
    • Sexual harassment
    • Other
  • Public Accommodations Discrimination

    Public accommodations are anything open to the general public. Examples include stores, malls, restaurants, parks, banks, government buildings and so forth.

    It is unlawful for any public accommodation to discriminate on the basis of race, color, handicap or disability, familial status, religious creed, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or use of support animals to:

    • Refuse or withhold public accommodation
    • Refuse or withhold service
    • Advertise in a discriminatory way
    • Retaliate
  • Junior Human Relations Commission

    The Junior Human Relations Commission (JHRC) was founded in the summer of 2020 during the global Coronavirus pandemic. The City of York Human Relations Commission (CYHRC) created the JHRC in an effort to provide the youth in our community with a visible platform to address civil rights and social justice concerns that impact their daily lives.

    Under the guidance of The City of York Human Relations Commission staff and appointed Commissioners, a volunteer Junior Commissioner (JC) will help organize and attend events; online and in-person. Events may include hosting discussion forums with peers to highlight issues impacting local students, their families and the York community.

    The Goals for Participation in The Junior Human Relations Commission Include:

    • Increasing awareness in the mission of the City of York Human Relations Commission.
    • Addressing discrimination in our community and how it affects the lives of our youth.
    • Learning how to react to public displays of discrimination and how to report incidents of hate and bigotry.
    • Attendance by JCs at Public Hearings conducted by the CYHRC.
    • Creating opportunities for JCs to develop and improve communication and public speaking skills.
    • Empowering participants to make a positive impact in their schools.
    • Acknowledging how youth can lead the way for social progress in our community.

     

    Qualifications & Selection

    To qualify, students must attend a York City school or reside in the City of York.

    Selection is based on a written application and interview process conducted by the Chair of the Junior Human Relations Commission and the Investigator of the City of York Human Relations Commission.

    If you are interested in serving as a Junior Commissioner, please submit your application using our online form.

    Click Here To Apply!

  • CYHRC Practice and Procedures Amendments

    Please review the following addendum to the CYHRC Donation and Sponsorship Policy

    This document will be posted until September 30, 2020 and a final vote is scheduled for: Monday, October 19, 2020.

    All questions and comments should be emailed to: YCHRC@yorkcity.org

    Donation and Sponsorship Policy

    1.    POLICY STATEMENT

    1.1    All Donations and Sponsorship provided by the City of York Human Relations Commission must be compatible with our commission’s activities and reflect our commitment to operating in a diverse and ethical manner.  Donations and Sponsorship will not be given to organizations that the CYHRC is in legal or financial conflict with or which connects the CYHRC to any political party or group.

    2.    DEFINITIONS

    “CYHRC”: City of York Human Relations Commission.

    “Donation”: A Donation is a voluntary contribution in the form of monetary or non-monetary gifts to a fund or cause for which no return service or payment is expected or made.  Contributions to industry associations or fees for memberships in organizations that serve CYHRC interests are not necessarily considered Donations.

    “Employee”: For the purposes of this policy, this includes all individuals working at all levels for the CYHRC and the City of York. (whether permanent, fixed-term or temporary wherever they are located)

    “Sponsorship”: Sponsorship is about partnering with external organizations or individuals to deliver mutual benefits through an exchange of monies, products, services, content or other intellectual property.

    “Third Party”: Any individual or organization you come into contact with during the course of your work for us.  This includes actual and potential complainants, suppliers, business contacts, Intermediaries, government and public bodies, including their advisors, representatives and officials, politicians and political parties.

    3.    SCOPE

    3.1    This policy applies to all members of the Commission, Employees and Third Parties of the CYHRC and shall be communicated to them at the outset of our business relationship and as appropriate thereafter.

    4.    WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

    4.1    Charitable donations by the CYHRC may only be made where:

    • the donation is made in compliance with applicable laws;
    • the donation is not made to secure an improper business advantage, and
    • the donation is made to a properly established charity and there is a valid charitable purpose for the donation. Must have a 501C3 or a 501C3 sponsor.

    4.2    Promotional expenditure should seek to improve the image of the CYHRC as a diverse organization, to better present its services or establish cordial relations.  The provision of promotional items such as T-shirts, calendars, pens and other such similar items of modest value is permissible.  Any other promotional expenditure (including Sponsorship) must be reasonable and proportionate and the prior approval from the duly authorized Commissioners must be obtained by majority vote.

    4.3    No offers of Sponsorship shall be provided without the prior written consent of the duly authorized Commissioners of the CYHRC and any use of the CYHRC trademarks must be referred for approval.

    4.4    No Employee in or relating to the course of his/her employment, shall make any sponsorship or donation requests.

    4.5    Donations or Sponsorship must not be made or offered in conjunction with, as part of or in relation to any contract renewal or prospective business relationship.

    4.6    The CYHRC will not enter into any charitable Donation or Sponsorship agreement with an organization as a means of gaining favorable terms from that organization or its affiliates/connected parties in any other business agreements.

    4.7    Donations will be made for no more than 30% of the requested amount and not to exceed a total of $200.00.

    5.    YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES

    5.1    Ensure any Donation or Sponsorship is compatible with the CYHRC values and ethical policies.

    5.2    All Donations and Sponsorship must be approved by the commission. A record of all Donations and Sponsorships should be maintained for audit purposes.

    5.3    Any Employee who breaches this policy will face disciplinary action. (TBD)

    5.4    All Employees have the responsibility to read, understand and comply with this policy. You should at all times, avoid any activity that might lead to, or suggest, a breach of this policy.

    5.5    This policy should be read in conjunction with the CYHRC Policy and Procedures.

    5.6    Employees are encouraged to raise concerns about any instance, or suspicion, of malpractice at the earliest possible stage through the Chairperson of the Commission.

    6.    GOVERNANCE

    6.1    The board of commissioners has the overall responsibility for ensuring this policy complies with our legal and ethical obligations, and that all those under our control comply with it.

    7.    MONITORING AND REVIEW

    7.1    The CYHRC will establish and put in place appropriate performance measures and reporting systems to monitor performance against metrics and compliance with the relevant policies, procedures, and controls.

    7.2    The Chairperson of the Commission or a commissioner appointed, will monitor the effectiveness and review the implementation of this policy, regularly considering its suitability, adequacy, and effectiveness.  Any improvements identified will be made as soon as possible.

    7.3    Internal control systems and procedures will be subject to regular audits to provide assurance that they are effective. Chairperson will report to the Commission at least annually on the application of this policy.

    ____________________________________________________________________

    Amendments to these practice and procedures have been made by a vote of two-thirds of the Commission. The proposed amendments were read on May 19, 2014  and a notice of the proposed amendments were published in a newspaper of general circulation to ensure public review and opportunity for comment.  A special meeting was held on June 23, 2014  at the City of York Council Chambers, 101 S. George St. York, PA 17401, to vote on the proposed amendments.

    Practices and Procedures – Approved Amendments

    This document is also available for review at the HRC office.

  • CYHRC Annual Diversity Event 2020

    CYHRC Annual Diversity Event (formerly the Dr. Holiday Luncheon)

    The CYHRC’s Diversity Dinner (formerly, the Dr. Fredrick Holliday Memorial Celebration) is held each year to recognize individuals and organizations that work to promote fairness and equal opportunity in housing, employment or public accommodations.

    The Human Relations Commission Awards are presented to individuals and organizations that demonstrate significant progress in the reduction of civil tensions and recognizes those that seek solutions to prevent discrimination.

    The CYHRC’s Annual Diversity Dinner celebrates all who promote the Commission’s goals of diversity, equality, and non-violence.

    Please check back for updates on next year’s event!

    Thank You to Our 2020 Diversity Dinner Sponsors!

  • Minutes & Agendas

    Agendas

    Minutes

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