Iowa Local Commissions

There are 21 local human rights commissions in the state of Iowa. These city and county commissions, created by local ordinances, exist independently of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. Although there are no formal or legal ties between the agencies, the local commissions interact with and work cooperatively with the Commission on case processing and on advocacy and public awareness of civil rights issues.

During the past several years many local commissions have been under attack and their existence threatened because of budget cuts in the various communities. Debate has also centered around whether the local commissions duplicated the work of the state commission, or whether they provided a valuable service by handling cases locally and reducing the work load of the over-burdened state commission.

During FY 90, the question of local commissions was debated in the legislature. The result was passage of House File 2154 by the Iowa General Assembly. This mandates that all cities in Iowa with a population of twenty-nine thousand, or greater, shall maintain an independent local civil rights agency or commission, and the Iowa Civil Rights Commission has authority to enter into cooperative agreements with the local agencies. However, this legislation will be repealed as of July 1, 1991. In the meantime, a Legislative Study Committee is gathering information on how best the jurisdictions of the local commissions and the state commission can be structured in the future. It is anticipated that new legislation will be considered by the 1991 Iowa General Assembly. (See Statutory Changes, page 22.)

The following tables show the cases originating with each agency, and the number of case
determinations by each agency.

Cases Filed from Local Commissions

Agency # %
Des Moines Human Rights Commission 217 31.0
Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission 132 18.9
Davenport Civil Rights Commission 80 11.5
Sioux City Human Rights Commission 49 7.0
Dubuque Human Rights Commission 43 6.2
Waterloo Human Rights Commission 40 5.7
Council Bluffs Human Rights Commission 39 5.6
Fort Dodge Human Rights Commission 31 4.4
Iowa City Human Rights Commission 29 4.1
Mason City Human Rights Commission 17 2.4
Ames Human Rights Commission 14 2.0
Cedar Falls Human Rights Commission 7 1.0
Total 698  


Determinations by Processor

Agency # %
Iowa Civil Rights Commission 962 70.9
Equal Employment Opportunity Comm. 104 7.7
Cedar Rapids Human Rights Commission 104 7.7
Davenport Human Rights Commission 63 4.6
Des Moines Human Rights Commission 31 2.3
Iowa City Human Rights Commission 22 1.6
Waterloo Human Rights Commission 20 1.5
Sioux City Human Rights Commission 19 1.4
Fort Dodge Human Rights Commission 10 <1
Dubuque Human Rights Commission 5 <1
Cedar Falls Human Rights Commission 5 <1
Ames Human Rights Commission 4 <1
Housing & Urban Development (HUD) 4 <1


Iowa Local Commissions

Sheila Lundt, Director
Lisa Ievalts, Chairperson
Ames Human Relations Commission
515 Clark Avenue
Ames, IA 50010

John Aitken, Chairperson
Bettendorf Human Relations Commission
706 Union Arcade Building
Davenport, IA 52801

Dianne Dillon-Ridgley, Chairperson
Burlington Human Rights Commission
#8 Cascade Terrace
Burlington, IA 52601

Cheryl O'Connor, Chairperson
Cedar Falls Human Rights Commission
220 Clay Street
Cedar Falls, IA 50613
319/277-1921 (H), 319/292-5482(O)
319/277-3504, Pat Robb, contact person

Floyd Jone, Executive Director
Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission
2nd Floor - Veterans Memorial Building
Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

Clinton Human Rights Commission
Contact Person: Errol Peters
507 Buell
Clinton, IA 52732

Darrin Hamilton, Asst. City Atty.
Council Bluffs Human Relations Commission
209 Pearl Street, City Hall
Council Bluffs, IA 51501

Brenda Drew-Peeples, Director
Davenport Civil Rights Commission
224 West 4th Street
Davenport, IA 52801

James Claussen, Acting Director
Des Moines Human Rights Commission
Armory Building, E. 1st & Des Moines
Des Moines, IA 50307

Matt Lorenz, Executive Director
Dubuque Human Rights Commission
City Hall, 13th & Central
Dubuque, IA 52001

Kathy Goble, Director
Fort Dodge Human Rights Commission
819 lst Ave. South, Municipal Bldg.
Fort Dodge, IA 50501

Pat Dollinger (Contact)
Fort Madison Human Rights Commission
811 Avenue E, City Hall
Fort Madison, IA 52627
319/372-7700 (City Hall)

Donald Schild, Secretary
Grinnell Human Rights Commission
833 Broad Street, P.O. Box 265
Grinnell, IA 50112

Alice Harris, Human Rights Coordinator
Iowa City Human Rights Commission
410 E. Washington, Civic Center
Iowa City, IA 52240

Sylvia Tillman
Keokuk Human Relations Commission
2106 Crestwood
Keokuk,IA 52632
319/524-9923, or 319/524-2050, City Hall

Ms. Lee Haupert, Chairperson
Marshalltown Human Rights Commission
1400 Lincoln Towers Circle
Marshalltown, IA 50158

Lionel Foster, Director
Mason City Human Rights Commission
19 South Delaware, City Hall
Mason City, IA 50401

Marilyn Munyon, Chairperson
Muscatine Human Rights Commission
City Hall, 215 Sycamore
Muscatine, IA 52761

Ted Buttel, Chairperson
Ottumwa Human Rights Commission
City Hall, P.O. Box 518
Ottumwa, IA 52501
515/683-0600, City Hall
Helen Davis, contact person

John Stokes, Executive Director
Sioux City Human Rights Commission
Suite 355, Orpheum Bldg.
Sioux City, IA 51101
712/279-6985 OR 6986

B.J. Furgerson Director
Waterloo Human Rights Commission
715 Mulberry Street, 2nd Floor
Waterloo, IA 50701

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