Boston's Human Rights Commission had been inactive since 1996, but seeing the challenging times we live in, Mayor Marty Walsh decided to reactivate it.
"As attacks on human rights continue from the highest levels of our country, here in Boston, we're committed to preserving and advancing human rights, including in our immigrant communities," said Mayor Marty Walsh via press release. "I'm proud to appoint these seven members to the Human Rights Commission. Their backgrounds and experiences make them uniquely qualified to serve in these roles, and they will make a real difference in the lives of our residents."
Walsh specifically asked the commission, which was established by a city ordinance in 1984, to pay special attention to Boston's immigrant communities.
Two of the seven person commission, Anne Rousseau and Benjamin Goldberger, are Jamaica Plain residents.
"It is an honor and grave responsibility to be appointed to the Human Rights Commission," said Rousseau to Jamaica Plain News. "Now more than ever all the residents of Boston deserve to know that there is a Commission they can turn to ensure that every resident has equal access to public services, and fair and equal treatment under the law."
For Rousseau, the commission's work is very much personal.
"As a person who has experienced discrimination first hand, losing my job because who I was, before laws were in place protecting sexual orientation, I understand the hurt and economic hardships that a person can suffer when a person or institution uses their power to deny another person equal treatment," said Rousseau. "When I was sworn in and took the oath to uphold the Constitution my heart was full knowing that this country has not always respected the dignity of every human being. I embrace the opportunity be on the right side of justice."
Rousseau has been the Chief Financial Officer of Metro Housing Boston since 2002. She has had extensive involvement in Jamaica Plain, including being the co-chair of JP Progressives. Rousseau holds degrees from Boston College and the Episcopal Divinity School, and is a reverend.
Goldberger serves as the General Counsel for the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. His career in law includes work on internal investigations, grand jury investigations, administrative law, and other complex civil litigation, according to a press release. He has also clerked for the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts. He holds degrees from Harvard Law School and the University of Pennsylvania.