RICHMOND, Virginia (WAVY) – Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has established a Civil Rights Bureau in the Virginia Attorney General’s office, an extension that focuses on protecting Virginians from discrimination and other civil rights issues.
“The Civil Rights Office’s new name is the culmination of a multi-year plan to expand the powers and resources devoted to protecting the civil rights of Virginians and to place civil rights protection at the heart of the Office’s Civil Rights Office’s mission.” According to a press release from Hering’s office.
The office is an extension of the existing human rights division that was transferred from the executive branch to the attorney general in 2012.
It will have 13 staff, including 7 attorneys, including a human rights attorney when Herring took office, covering issues such as illegal policing, housing discrimination, LGBTQ and gender discrimination, employment discrimination and more .
Herring wants to make the new department announced on Tuesday permanent through legislation. The legislation for 2021 was passed with the help of Del. Charniele Herring developed. Past efforts by Del. Alfonso Lopez have been blocked by Republican-controlled committees, says Mark Herring.
“Attorney General Herring has assumed the office and role of Attorney General in such a short space of time and we want to ensure that his focus on civil rights and equal opportunities remains central to the attorney general’s office for generations to come,” he told Del. Charniele herring. “This legislation will send a clear signal that the Commonwealth believes in equality for all and will actively work to protect the rights and dignity of all of its people.”
The creation of the civil rights office was also a major cause of herring challenger in Democratic Elementary School, Norfolk Del. Jay Jones. Herring runs for his third term in 2021. Del. Jason Miyares and Chuck Smith run on the Republican side.
“The Civil Rights Office will improve our ability to protect Virginians from discrimination in relation to housing, employment, and public life, and will allow us to take on new roles such as socializing. B. Investigations into “patterns and practices” that can stamp out and end unconstitutional police work. Enforcement of protection against discrimination for LGBTQ Virginians, ”says AG Herring. “And the Citizens’ Rights Office will be a natural home for other civil rights initiatives that we will hopefully launch in collaboration with the General Assembly, such as stricter protection of voting rights, protection of the civil rights of disabled Virgins and other tools to combat discrimination in health care and health Ensure educational equity. “
WAVY will be covering more of the announcement later today.