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Mayor Tim Keller Creates First of Its Kind Office of Civil Rights

Headed by Torri Jacobus to help Albuquerque residents address civil rights issues.

January 18, 2019

Mayor Tim Keller announced today the new Office of Civil Rights, charged with promoting equality, investigating civil rights complaints, and tackling discrimination in Albuquerque. The Office will work to inform residents about their rights in areas including public accommodation, employment, and housing.

“We know that discrimination is an issue for folks in our own city and across the country,” said Mayor Keller. “We’re choosing to step up and systematically combat discrimination. We created the Office of Civil rights to make sure members of our community have access to the resources they need to address the injustice in public accommodation, employment and housing, while also offering education and training to prevent discrimination from happening in the first place.”

The Office of Civil Rights works hand in hand with the Office of Equity and Inclusion and is led by Managing Assistant City Attorney Torri Jacobus. Jacobus came on with the City in July of 2018 to coordinate civil rights efforts from within the legal department. Before coming to the City, Jacobus worked at the Second Judicial District Court for five years.

“As Albuquerque was one of the first cities to pass legislation against discrimination in 1952, I am honored to continue the work to make Albuquerque as diverse and inclusive as possible,” said Torri Jacobus. “We have seen recent gaps in action by the federal government related to illegal discriminatory actions which is why we are stepping up at the City level to close those gaps and make sure everyone knows how to protect their rights.”

The Office of Civil Rights currently offers non-discrimination technical assistance and training for employers and landlords/tenants. Services are free of charge to individuals impacted by alleged discriminatory acts occurring within the City of Albuquerque. The Albuquerque Human Rights Ordinance prohibits discrimination in the following areas:

Employment:

  • Hiring/Firing
  • Wages
  • Promotion/Demotion
  • Terms/Conditions of the Job

Housing:

  • Rental Opportunities
  • Home Buying Opportunities
  • Credit Related to Housing
  • Advertising of Housing
  • Disability Accommodations or Modifications

Public Accommodations:

  • Access to Goods and Services
  • Access to Facilities
  • Hotels
  • Restaurant and Shops
  • Recreational Facilities
  • Theaters

Individuals may have been discriminated against if they are treated differently from others in a similar situation because of their race, ethnicity, age, religion, sex, national origin or ancestry, disability, or sexual orientation and were harmed by the treatment.

Those who feel they have been discriminated against and would like to know more about how the Office of Civil Rights can help them can call 505-768-4595, email [email protected], or visit the Office in person at 1 Civic Plaza, Ste. 201, Albuquerque NM 87102.