By Mark Hallum
The city Commission on Human Rights announced a series of actions it will take to prepare New Yorkers to report and respond to acts of discriminatory harassment following a spate of incidents which have occurred on public transportation in recent months.
The outreach will utilize digital and transit ads in all five boroughs to raise awareness of the commission’s expanded information line, which answers questions about discrimination and introduced the Bias Response Team to monitor incidents and provide resources to victims and affected communities.
“New York City will not stand for discrimination or harassment of any kind,” said Mayor de Blasio. “NYC has been and always will be a welcoming city for all, regardless of who you are or what you believe and we intend to keep it that way. We will continue to fight hate and bigotry in all its forms and protect the most vulnerable among us, which is why we are reinforcing programs and support structures so everyone knows they are fully protected by New York City and knows what to do if they are the victims of hate or discrimination. NYC will not let bias-incidents and hate crimes go unaddressed and will continue to stand firm against those who would divide us.”
The Commission on Human Rights’ Infoline, 718-722-3131, is being expanded to include more operators to help public transit riders who have been harassed file claims and get information about the laws they are protected under.
The Bias Response Team will serve the same purpose but provide in-person support to communities.
“What makes New York City great is its diversity,” said state Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman (D-Springfield Gardens). “No one should feel threatened because of who they are, which is why my office has partnered with the NYC Commission on Human Rights to help report and address instances of discrimination. We are a nation of immigrants, myself included, and we must work together to keep New York safe.”
City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) has been a longtime advocate for immigrant and LGBTQ rights. He serves as a member of the City Council LGBT Caucus.
“These new outreach efforts will safeguard NYC’s most vulnerable communities from hate,” Dromm said. “My district is home to one of the largest immigrant, LGBTQ, and Muslim populations in the state. I am pleased that the city is doubling down on its endeavors to protect these groups from harassment, discrimination, and violence. I will continue to work alongside the administration to ensure that NYC remains a safe haven for all people.”
Also involved in the measures announced by the Commission on Human Rights are the Office of Immigrant Affairs, Community Affairs Unit, Public Engagement Unit and the Department of Consumer Affairs.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall