Protestors marching in the streets

Office of Civil Rights

Who We Are

The mission of the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is to advance civil rights through thoughtful community and business engagement, strategic enforcement, and innovative policy development, with a commitment to race and social justice. Office of Civil Rights’ (OCR) primary program work focuses on the enforcement of civil rights and fair labor standards and education and outreach for those living and working within Austin City Limits.

Approved by the Austin City Council in August 2020, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is now a newly formed department, which provides a centralized entity to enforce the civil rights anti-discrimination ordinance and federal statutes. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) provides education and outreach to the community; delivers feedback and recommendations to city management involving new and expanded initiatives; and works extensively with local, state, and federal partners and stakeholders to ensure that Austinites live free from discrimination and other civil rights violations.

The Office of Civil Rights works strategically to promote visibility, transparency, accountability, and responsibility. The Office of Civil Rights’ (OCR) primary goal is promoting the fair treatment of all individuals in the areas of Employment, Housing, Fair Chance, Title VI, Title II, Veteran Services and Public Accommodations.

What We Do

  • Prevent
  • Educate
  • Investigate
  • Resolve

Enforcement and Public Participation

The Office of Civil Rights addresses discrimination and allows public participation through the following areas:

  • Employment  
  • Fair Housing  
  • Fair Chance Hiring
  • Title VI
  • Title II
  • Public Accommodations
  • Right to Organize 
  • Access to Public Programs/Services 
  • Local Ordinances
  • Veteran Services
  • Community Engagement


Tamela Saldana

Dr. Tamela Saldana, Acting Civil Rights Director 

Dr. Saldana works for the City of Austin’s Small and Minority Business Resources Department, serving as the Assistant Director. She is also currently serving as the City’s Civil Rights Interim Director. Dr. Saldana has close to 25 years of federal, state, and local government experience, having worked as the Director of the federal Disadvantaged and Small Business Program for the Texas Department of Transportation.  

Dr. Saldana earned her Doctorate from the University of Texas in Anthropology of the African and African American Diaspora, emphasizing racial and cultural studies. Dr. Saldana has earned two master’s degrees, an M.P.A. in Public Administration from Texas State University and an M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been a graduate professor at Texas State University in the Masters of Public Administration Program for more than ten years.  

She is a City of Austin’s Executive Academy graduate, a Leadership Texas graduate, and a previous recipient of the Outstanding Women in Texas Government Community Involvement Award. She has received numerous awards recognizing her efforts and support of small and minority businesses.  


The City of Austin complies with applicable federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex. The City of Austin does not exclude people or treat them differently because of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex. If you need an interpreter or translation, please contact us at 512-974-3251.

The purpose of this Language Access Plan (LAP or Plan) is to ensure meaningful access to benefits, services, information, and other important asked of the City of Austin and Office of Civil Rights programs and activities for individuals with LEP. To learn more, please review the Office of Civil Rights Language Access Plan