Agency Overview

History & Mission

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The roots of HRC go back to 1964 when the modern day civil rights movement manifested in San Francisco through demonstrations against hotels, supermarkets, drive-in restaurants and automobile showrooms that discriminated against African Americans. In early 1964, Mayor John F. Shelley appointed an Interim Committee on Human Relations, which subsequently recommended to the Board of Supervisors that a permanent Human Rights Commission be established. In July 1964, the Board of Supervisors passed the recommendation, and Mayor Shelley signed an ordinance establishing the Human Rights Commission. From 1964, the Human Rights Commission grew in response to City government's mandate to address the causes of and problems resulting from prejudice, intolerance, bigotry and discrimination. The Mayor and the Board of Supervisors gave the Human Rights Commission more and broader powers and duties to address these problems, and passed additional ordinances, which were implemented by the Human Rights Commission. In June 1990, the voters of San Francisco established the Human Rights Commission as a Charter Commission (see Section 3.699-5 of the Charter).

 

For nearly 50 years, HRC has grown in response to San Francisco’s mandate to address the causes of and problems resulting from prejudice, intolerance, bigotry and discrimination. We:

  • Advocate for human and civil rights;
  • Investigate and mediate discrimination complaints;
  • Resolve community disputes and issues involving individual or systemic illegal discrimination; and
  • Provide technical assistance, information and referrals to individuals, community groups, businesses and government agencies related to human rights and social services

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