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Members of OKC Human Rights Commission include councilor who voted against its formation

Community members were appointed to Oklahoma City's newly created Human Rights Commission on Tuesday, with a rare appointment of a city council member as her ward's representative.

Ward 3 Councilwoman Barbara Young chose to appoint herself as the Ward 3 commissioner, a move city council Chief of Staff Debi Martin said she can't remember being done in her 32 years leading the office. Though Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt said there is no rule against it, Ward 7 Councilwoman Nikki Nice questioned the appointment due to Young's vote against establishing the commission in July.

"We have someone who is not even in support of a commission, and now they're being appointed to the commission," Nice said. "Please make that make sense for me."

The commission was approved by 5-4 city council vote in July, after nearly two years of research by a mayor-appointed task force on whether the city needed such a commission. The last Human Rights Commission was disbanded in 1996 when city councilmembers disagreed with commissioners trying to protect the rights of LGBTQ+ residents.


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