Diversity Issues in Gilbert, Arizona: Effectiveness of Human Relations Commission for Resolving Human Rights Violations
141 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2014
Date Written: 2001
In response to unwelcome, unattractive media attention and citizen political pressure, Mayor Cynthia Dunham of Gilbert, Arizona appointed 36 citizens to the Diversity Task Force in September 2000. Its purpose was to make recommendations to the town Council on issues of diversity. The town had been plagued for a number of years with incidents of violence, white supremacist gang intimidations and various other acts of discrimination. The stigma of a prejudiced community led to a negative perception that many wanted to correct. The Task Force recommended the creation of a human relations commission and identified eight critical social issues facing Gilbert. Created with limited powers, the Commission on Human Relations is an advisory board to the town Council. This study questions the Commission's effectiveness to resolve the eight diversity issues and compares the powers of Gilbert's commission to 20 other municipal, county or state commissions.
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