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-annual plan to expand the powers and resources devoted to protecting the civil rights of Virginians and to put 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, which was transferred from the executive to the attorney general in 2012.
It will have 13 employees, including 7 attorneys, including a human rights attorney when Herring took office, and will address issues such as illegal policing, housing discrimination, LGBTQ and gender discrimination, workplace 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 taken on 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. Hering is running for his third term in 2021. Del. Jason Miyares and Chuck Smith run on the Republican side.
“The Citizens’ Rights Office will improve our ability to protect Virgins from discrimination in relation to housing, employment and public life, and will allow us to take on new roles such as: 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 Civil Rights Office will be a natural home for additional 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 Virgins with disabilities and more tools to tackle discrimination in health care and ensuring educational equity. “
WAVY will be covering more of the announcement later today.