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Guide to the Archives of the City of Seattle

Record Group 3800
Office for Civil Rights

The Human Rights Commission was created in 1963 to promote equality and understanding among Seattle residents and to study, investigate, and make recommendations regarding discrimination based on race, color, religion, and national origin. The Human Rights Department (HRD) was created in 1969, replacing a small Office of Human Rights in the Executive Department. The agency enforced the Seattle Fair Employment Practices Ordinance and Open Housing and Public Accommodations Ordinance, and developed outreach and public education programs to help reduce incidents of discrimination. In 1980 all employment and housing discrimination functions were consolidated under HRD with transfer of certain enforcement responsibilities from the Office for Women's Rights (8400). In 1995 the Compliance Unit which monitored and enforced the Women and Minority Business Enterprise Ordinance was moved to the Department of Administrative Services and HRD's affirmative action monitoring function was transferred to the Personnel Department. In 1996, most of the functions of HRD and the Office for Women's Rights were consolidated into a new Office for Civil Rights (OCR). OCR provides a forum for resolving complaints of discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and contracting within the Seattle city limits. The office also provides policy recommendations to city agencies, as well as outreach and education to the community on civil rights issues. OCR staffs five advisory commissions: the Human Rights Commission, the Women's Commission, the LGBT Commission, the Commission for People with Disabilities, and the Immigrant and Refugee Advisory Board.


3800-01
Director's Records

1978-1999
1.2 cubic feet

Primarily records of the predecessor Human Rights Department’s Director, including correspondence, draft legislation, briefs, clippings and subject files. Records concern Fair Employment Practices and Open Housing ordinances; human rights rules and enforcement; case management; and administrative issues.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


3800-02
Subject Files

1989-2000
1.0 cubic foot

Subject files concerning projects of the Office For Civil Rights. Topics primarily concern assistance and outreach for the Federal Censuses of 1990 and 2000, and state welfare reforms, particularly the WorkFirst Program. Materials include conference and project files.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


3803-01
Affirmative Action Plans

1972-1976
0.4 cubic foot

Departmental policies and plans for implementation of the City's Affirmative Action program for hiring and promoting minority and women employees.

SMA


3803-02
Handicapped Services Correspondence

1972-1980
2.0 cubic feet

Chronological and subject correspondence of the Handicapped Services Unit in the Department of Human Resources. Records were transferred to the Human Rights Department Affirmative Action Unit in 1981.

SMA
Container List


3805-01
Discrimination Case Files

1973-2001
69.0 cubic feet

Employment and housing discrimination complaints filed with the Human Rights Department. Complaints are investigated and attempts are made to reach a settlement between the parties in order to avoid taking the complaint to the courts. Records include the charge or complaint, the investigator's activity log, witness statements, findings of facts, conciliation statements, pre-determination statements, file closure memoranda, and appeal statements.

SMA
Folder List



3810-00: Human Rights Commission

The 12-member Human Rights Commission was established in 1963 to promote equality and understanding among Seattle residents, and to study, investigate, and make recommendations regarding discrimination based on race, color, religion, and national origin. The Commission reported to the Executive Department. In 1969, with creation of the Human Rights Department, the Commission's function became more advisory. It makes recommendations to the Department and conducts hearings relating to housing and employment discrimination.


3810-01
Minutes and Subject Files

1958-1968
32.0 cubic feet

Commission minutes, correspondence, reports, studies, newsletters, and reference material relating to the activities of the Human Rights Commission prior to creation of the Human Rights Department.

UW
Preliminary Inventory


3810-02
Subject Files

1963-1968
16.0 cubic feet

Correspondence, reports, studies, newsletters, and reference material relating to the activities of the Human Rights Commission prior to creation of the Human Rights Department.

UW
Folder List


3810-03
Meeting Materials

1997-2000
0.6 cubic foot

Agendas, minutes, correspondence, case reports, articles and executive committee material distributed to Commission members as meeting packets.

SMA
Finding Aid


3810-04
Subject Files

1997-2000
0.6 cubic foot

Subject files concerning issues addressed by the Human Rights Commission, including equity in contracting, a conference on equitable workplaces, and police-community relationships.

SMA
Folder list
Finding Aid



3830-00: Seattle Commission for Sexual Minorities

The Mayor's Lesbian/Gay Task Force was established in 1985 within the Office for Women's Rights. In 1989, the Task Force became the Seattle Commission for Lesbians and Gays, a full city commission with 15 volunteer members. When the Office for Women's Rights was abolished in 1987, the Commission was absorbed into the new Office for Civil Rights, and its name was changed to the Seattle Commission for Sexual Minorities. The Commission advises the Mayor, City Council and other City departments on issues of concern to sexual minorities. It also recommends policies and legislation in matters affecting the sexual minority community.


3830-01
Commission For Sexual Minorities Minutes

1997-1999
0.2 cubic foot

Minutes and agenda packets of the Seattle Commission For Sexual Minorities. Issues covered include domestic violence, pride week, hate crimes, and community relations.

SMA
Finding Aid


3830-02
Commission For Sexual Minorities Subject Files

1997-1999
0.4 cubic foot

Correspondence, surveys, memoranda, notes, rosters and news clippings related to the activities and projects of the Commission. Topics include: discrimination based on sexual orientation, hate crimes, health issues, domestic partnership, sensitivity training, the selection of a new Fire Chief, applicants for the Commission, and administrative issues.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid