Human Rights Commission

Creation of a Stoneham Human Rights Commission (HRC) is intended to affirm that the Town supports a core value of freedom from bigotry and hatred, discrimination and disrespect. The Town of Stoneham intends to uphold and defend the rights of all persons to enjoy free and equal exercise of their rights and privileges as secured by the Constitution and Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and of the United States.

The HRC shall consist of 9 members who shall be residents of the Town for staggered 3 year terms such that at least 3 members shall be appointed annually. The Town Administrator shall be an ex-officio member of the HRC. All members, other than the Town Administrator, shall be appointed by the Stoneham Select Board and shall include a member recommended by the Commission on Disability; an employee of the Town of Stoneham recommended by the Town Administrator; a high school student recommended by the Stoneham Superintendent; a senior (age 65 or older) recommended by the Director of the Senior Center; and at least one member must be a member of the LGBTQ community.

The HRC, as an advisory board to the Select Board and Town Administrator, shall work to ensure that all residents enjoy equal opportunity to participate regardless of their race, color, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religion, marital, family or military status, socio-economic status, or disability. The HRC shall also support human rights codified in the Constitution and laws of the United States and of Massachusetts of other groups and organizations against discrimination in housing, employment, education, public accommodations, town services, insurance, banking, credit and health care.

The HRC shall work to identify and advocate for the protection and preservation the civil and human rights of all people in the town of Stoneham set forth in existing local, state, and federal laws on behalf of the Town of Stoneham. The HRC shall advocate against unlawful discrimination and provide information and education about human rights issues. The HRC works with diverse individuals and community groups to support and promote tolerance, mutual respect and human rights.

The HRC shall report complaints of unlawful treatment, harassment or discrimination involving the town of Stoneham to the Town Administrator, and complaints concerning other state and federal officials, agencies or committees to the Town Administrator and with the approval of the Town Administrator to appropriate authorities, provide information to the public about civil rights, promote public awareness of human rights issues through educational resources, work with municipal departments and Town Counsel to ensure compliance of local, state and federal laws and regulations, work to raise the level of awareness and sensitivity to human rights issues in municipal business with the public.

The Stoneham Human Rights Commission shall annually submit a written report to the Town Administrator and Stoneham Select Board which shall include any findings or recommendations for future action.

Members

Name   Term
Kevin Merritt-Chairman Select Board Appointment 2022
Lindsay Beal Select Board Appointment 2022
Julie Beliveau Select Board Appointment 2022
Patricia Kilty Select Board Appointment 2022
Sheila Ryder Select Board Appointment 2022
Robert Bardell Disability Commission Designee 2022
Jane Francis Council on Aging Designee 2022
Donna Gaffey Town Administrator Designee 2022
Cailin Kennedy Superintendent of Schools Designee 2022

August 2019

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