Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer Calls for Suspension of County Human Relations Commission and Serious Reforms

News Date

County of San Diego Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer calls to temporarily cease HRC meetings and activities until the systemic issues that have plagued the volunteer commission since its reinstatement in 2020 are thoroughly addressed. 

Supervisor Lawson-Remer has released the following statement:   

“Antisemitism, islamophobia, anti-LGBTQ attacks, racism, and all other forms of hate are absolutely unacceptable. There is no place for hate in our community. All are welcome here — whatever your faith or race or ethnicity or sexual orientation or gender identity: I see you, I love you, and I will do everything I can to keep you safe. 

The mission of the Human Relations Commission is ‘to promote positive human relations, respect, and the integrity of every individual regardless of gender, religion, culture, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, or citizenship status’.  Unfortunately, the HRC in its current form is not fulfilling this mission.  The Commission was not put in a position to succeed from the get-go. The intent was well-meaning, but without significant reforms, this group will not be able to overcome the systemic challenges that are contributing to contentious disagreements and infighting, very troubling behavior and statements by some HRC members, and resignations and the inability to reach a quorum.   

“For this reason, I want to temporarily cease the activities and meetings of the Human Relations Commission until after the Board of Supervisors can improve the rules and procedures of this volunteer body.  I am confident calling for serious reform, including new rules to allow thorough vetting of potential appointees, better procedures to allow removal of members for behavior both inside and outside meetings, and revised bylaws to make the commission more effective.”  

The Chair of the Board of Supervisors is expected to bring a policy calling for the Human Relations Commission meetings to “take a break” at the upcoming Supervisors’ meeting in February, as the Board also considers a series of HRC bylaws changes. 

During the February 6, 2024 Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Lawson-Remer called for a “serious rethink” of the Human Relations Commission.   

Since being established in 2020, the Human Relations Commission has had significant struggles. There have been member resignations because of antisemitic comments, anti-LGBTQ comments made, revision of bylaws, and ongoing  failures to reach a quorum

Supervisor Lawson-Remer has a lifelong track record of defending our community’s shared values, fighting against antisemitism, racism, and islamophobia, standing-up against anti-Asian and anti-LGBTQ hate crimes, and protecting equality and human rights for all people.