City of Pittsfield Amends Ordinance Relating to Human Rights Commission

Pittsfield City Council unanimously approved an amendment submitted by Mayor Linda Tyer to the city code pertaining to the Human Rights Commission section at last week’s City Council meeting at City Hall.

The amendment approved at the Tuesday, March 22 meeting underwent review and input from the Pittsfield Human Rights Commission prior to submission. The update to the policy found in Chapter 2 of the code (Article 27, Sec. 2-137)  includes a “Purpose and Intent” definition; new categories of gender identity or expression; military status; and the inclusion of “municipal services, contracts, and purchasing” to the policy language.

Pittsfield is the 14th city in the Commonwealth to have a policy that reflects this language, notes Cecilia Rock, the commission’s chair.

“It brings our policy in the city up to date and makes it one of the most advanced human rights policies in the United States, comparable to policies in 17 other states,” say Rock. “These are identifying factors which can be met by discrimination and they are irrelevant to qualifications.”

Mayor Tyer thanked City Council for its unanimous support and said the amendment reflects the city’s deep commitment to all people, and ensures that appropriate measures are in place to protect their rights. “This is one more piece in the puzzle, building and strengthening our commitment to diversity in government.”