New LA city department to address racial inequities in housing, education, employment and commerce

As part of reforms for social justice, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti created a city department of civil and human rights.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- To help fight discrimination in Los Angeles against people of color and other disenfranchised communities, Mayor Garcetti and city council created a new department for civil and human rights issues.

Capri Maddox, the first executive director for the L.A. City Civil and Human Rights Department, joined ABC7 live via Skype to discuss the role of this new department.

Was this department created as a result of the recent civil unrest?

"The mayor and city council, particularly Mayor Council Member Gil Cedillo, envisioned this department over a year ago. However, they recently accelerated the start date to address discrimination and systemic racism against people of color and other disenfranchised communities," Maddox said. "Diversity is our strength, but compared to caucasians, our majority population face inequities of housing, education, employment and commerce. And those are the four areas where this new department seeks to address."

How can this department make a difference?

"There are so many time-sensitive issues that we must address, and we plan to have a meeting on Friday," she said. "The department will have a carrot-and-stick approach. We are familiar that discrimination is an issue in our nation."

Maddox said the city has moved beyond talking about these issues. The department will be empowered to do three things. First, support community engagement and events. Next, utilize judicial powers to bring action against those violating civil and human rights. Last, they will help support the office of racial equity.

Watch the full interview in the video above.
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