Dallas County Becomes First Human Rights County in Texas

DALLAS (WBAP/KLIF) – Dallas County has become the first county in Texas and only the second in America to designate itself a Human Rights County, joining eleven U.S. cities that have followed the United Nation’s initiative that aims to develop Human Rights communities throughout the world.

“Human Rights abuses occur in our community, our country and our world every day. We must lead at the local level. We can’t do everything but we can all do something,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

“The action taken by the county commissioners will mark a historic turning point in this County’s recognition of Human Dignity and Human Rights for all those who live, work, and visit here. This really puts us on the road to being the global jurisdiction we purport to be,” said Dr. Rick Halperin, Director of Southern Methodist University’s Embrey Human Rights Program.

The resolution was sponsored by Judge Clay Jenkins; Commissioner Dr. Elba Garcia and Commissioner Dr. Theresa Daniel joined to pass the resolution. Commissioners John Wiley Price and Mike Cantrell voted “no”.

“This is a significantly important step taken by Dallas County. It will have historical implications. We should all be thankful that the Dallas County Commissioners Court has taken a leadership role in advancing the cause of Human Rights,” said Wayne Meachum, Dallas County resident and Human Rights advocate.

Full Text of the Resolution:

WHEREAS, the United Nations passed a Resolution proclaiming the year commencing on December 10, 2008 the international Year of Human Rights Learning, spurring a movement devoted to increasing awareness about human rights violations and promoting education about human rights issues; and,
WHEREAS, one such initiative that resulted from the United Nations’ Resolution is the “Human Rights City” project that aims to develop Human Rights communities throughout the world in an attempt to build infrastructure for racial justice, conflict prevention, human security, sustainable development, and create a place for active civic engagement at the local, national, and global level; and,
WHEREAS, a Human Rights County is one whose residents and local authorities, through on-going discussions and creative exchanges of ideas come to understand that human rights, when widely known as a way of life, assist in identifying the issues and informs the actions in the community, for meaningful, positive economic and social change; and,
WHEREAS, as a Human Rights County, Dallas County will be joining other human rights local governments around the world in working to provide leadership and advocacy to secure, protect, and promote human rights for all people; and,
WHEREAS, being a Human Rights County makes it a model for communities in the U.S. and around the world to witness practical ways the human rights framework can make every citizen a partner of sustainable change; and,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Dallas County Commissioners Court does hereby affirm its commitment to human rights by declaring Dallas County a “Human Rights County”; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Dallas County Commissioners Court does hereby
declare every December 10 to be “COUNTY OF DALLAS HUMAN RIGHTS DAY” in Dallas County.

DONE IN OPEN COURT this the 5th day of July, 2017.

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