Powers and Duties

Under the authority of Article 4 of the City Code, the Baltimore Community Relations Commission is authorized to:

1. Formulate and carry out a comprehensive education and action program designed to eliminate and prevent prejudice and discrimination in the City of Baltimore.

2. Initiate studies concerning the current status of civil rights, inter-group relations, and discriminatory practices.

3. Conduct and publish an annual survey or community audit of the status of human rights in the City of Baltimore.

4. Create such advisory councils, committees, or subcommittees as in the judgement of the Commission will aid in carrying out the purposes of this article and to cooperate with such councils, committees, or subcommittees toward such ends.

5. Receive and investigate and seek to adjust all complaints of unlawful practices forbidden by Article 4, but no complaints shall be received unless made to the Commission within 180 days of such alleged unlawful practice.

6. Make appropriate findings as a result of any of its investigations.

7. From time to time, but not less than once a year, render to the Mayor and City Council a written report of its activities and recommendations for legislation as in the judgement of the Commission is necessary or desirable to aid it in carrying out its purposes and functions under Article 4.

8. Adopt and publish such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the functions of the Commission and to effectuate the purposes and provisions of Article 4.

9. Consult with such advisory agencies and conciliation councils as will aid in effectuating the purposes of Article 4.

10. Conduct investigations and studies and hold public hearings for the purpose of determining the existence of problems, practices, or conditions in the areas placed under its jurisdiction by Article 4 or any other ordinance or by State or Federal law.

11. In the enforcement of Article 4, issue subpoenas and compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of books, papers, records, and documents relevant or necessary for hearings, investigations, and proceedings.


Under Article 11 subtitle 15 Fair Criminal Record Screening Practices, the Commission is charged with promoting the policy that gives an individual who has a criminal record, but otherwise meets all criteria for consideration for employment, an opportunity to be judged on his or her own merit when initially applying for employment.  The Commission may receive complaints, investigate them and hear them in the same manner as that provided in City Code Article 4, subtitle 4 for alleged violations of that article's unlawful discriminatory employment practices.