Human Rights Commission presents Welcoming Report to City Counci - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Human Rights Commission presents Welcoming Report to City Council

AUSTIN, Minn. (KTTC) -

Austin has been known as a diverse community for years, but now the community is working to become a more welcoming one.

The Austin Human Rights Commission has been working for months to find out what barriers are in the way and what recommendations it has for overcoming them.

To put it in perspective roughly one third of the community is non-white. 

What the HRC has found is that there's little interaction and communication between the two groups, namely because there's a knowledge gap from both sides.

Austinites aren't opposed to the newcomers but they are unsure of how to welcome them.

What the HRC recommends is using the city as a springboard to kick-start more interaction between the two.

"We recommend that the make up of the working group to create that strategic plan represents the broad view of the community and so the city can be a leader in that."Jason Baskin, Chair of the HRC, said. "At the end of the day more government is not going to get the job done but the city can be someone that brings everyone to the table to help build connections."

They also want to make city boards and commissions more reflective of the community as a whole by including more members from these other groups.

Instead of just adding token members, they recommend the city dealing with the hurdles preventing those people from joining so it can happen organically. 

But the HRC also said that they are more than happy to work with different groups to explain how they can contribute, but also show newcomers where they can go to find the things they need and become involved.

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