Protestors marching in the streets

Public Participation and Information

The Office of Civil Rights will conduct public participation through the following:

  • Create initiatives to prevent or eliminate discriminatory practices within the City of Austin. 

  • Build programs aimed at educating employers, potential victims of discrimination, and the general public about their rights.
  • Educate the community on grassroots organizations, businesses, and local partnerships for resources and services.


1. Reach Austin communities.

2. Engage to better understand community needs.

3. Educate about the Office of Civil Rights enforcement and services.


  • Awareness Campaign

  • Listening Sessions

  • Partnership Development

  • Commission Initiatives

Interested in collaborating with the Office of Civil Rights for local community events, please click on the Contact Us tab and submit a request to speak with our Community Engagement Specialist, Damian Pantoja. 

Community Engagement

The community engagement component of the Office of Civil Rights benefits the residents of the City of Austin in several ways through providing Public Information, Education, and Outreach. The Office of Civil Rights serves as a bridge between the government and the residents of Austin, ensuring that community engagement efforts lead to a more informed, empowered, and cohesive community that upholds and protects civil rights for all.

  • Increase Awareness
  • Access to Resources
  • Promote Inclusivity and Empowerment

Interested in collaborating with the Office of Civil Rights for local community events, please click on the Contact Us tab and submit a request to speak with our Community Engagement Specialist. 

Veteran Services

The Office of Civil Rights is designed to improve the support and well-being of the veteran community through education, outreach, and community engagement.

  • Foster collaboration among service providers and government agencies
  • Educate and provide awareness about veterans' rights and resources
  • Enhance and expand available resources and services for veterans, surviving spouses and dependent

See the Veteran Resource Directory to find further resources and support.

To learn more about the improvement and support of the Veteran community, please click on the Contact Us tab and request to speak to our Veterans Service Administrator.

Past Civic and Policy Advancements 

The Office of Civil Rights held in-person engagements to better understand how implementing changes to support City Council initiatives will impact the residents of Austin.

On February 3, 2022, Austin City Council adopted Resolution No. 20220203-039, to explore tenants' rights to organize and redress grievances related to housing.

On February 3, 2022, Austin City Council also adopted Resolution No. 20220203-040 to explore providing an additional right to cure lease violations prior to eviction.

On January 27, 2023, Austin City Council adopted Resolution No. 20220127-053 to identify and develop procedures to ensure that staff are prepared to receive complaints of wage theft and other employment violations. The City of Austin Purchasing Department now enforces the Wage Theft Ordinance.

Past Outreach and Community Engagement 

2023 Fair Housing Conference

April is National Fair Housing Month. The Office of Civil Rights celebrated the 55th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act by holding the 2023 Fair Housing Conference. This was to celebrate the landmark civil rights law, Fair Housing Act, signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on April 11, 1968. The day began by celebrating with a Proclamation by Mayor Kirk Watson marking April 2023 as a time of rededication to the spirit and purpose of the goal of fair housing for all and renewal commitment to the promise of fair housing a reality for all Austinites.

Sexual Harassment Prevention

On August 11, 2023, the Office of Civil Rights in partnership with and through a grant from U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), co-presented an informational session to raise awareness of federal discrimination laws and recent changes in state law regarding rights and responsibilities to address sexual harassment in the workplace.

Boards and Commissions

Boards and Commissions enable the public to participate in Austin's government processes. Members’ diverse perspectives and experiences help City leaders in shaping and influencing public policy for our communities. The Office of Civil Rights supports the following Commissions to fulfill their duties:

Mayor’s Committee People for Disabilities  Municipal Code of Ordinance 2-1-108

The committee is established to encourage, assist, and enable persons with disabilities to participate in the social and economic life of the City, achieve maximum personal independence, become gainfully employed, and use and enjoy fully all public and private facilities available within the community.

Commission for Women Municipal Code of Ordinance 2-1-125

The Commission for Women is established to concerning the needs and problems of women in the Austin area and shall recommend programs designed to alleviate any inequities that may confront women in social, economic, and vocational pursuits. The Commission acts as the central clearinghouse and coordinating agency for activities and information relating to the status of women in the Austin community.

Commission on Veteran Affairs Municipal Code of Ordinance 2-1-127

The Commission on Veteran Affairs represents the military veteran constituency of the Austin community. The purpose of the board is to evaluate and recommend programs, policies, and practices designed to alleviate Veterans' difficulties in meeting basic needs, obtaining housing, employment and comprehensive mental health assistance, act as a clearinghouse for information through collaboration between service providers.

Human Rights Commission Municipal Code of Ordinance 2-1-148

The Human Rights Commission promotes and advises city council to assure effective compliance with non-discrimination policies and recommend to the city manager measures to improve equal protection of all persons and groups against discrimination to include community support for the legislation.