Millions have come to New York City from around the globe in search of a good life and a better future
than they could imagine anywhere else. It is this wealth of diversity and culture of acceptance that has shaped
and sustained our City for generations. The belief in the promise of unlimited opportunities for all is what
makes New York City so special and why our City goes to great lengths to protect the rights of all those who
have come to call New York home.
Our Commission on Human Rights is an integral part of this City’s public safety efforts. The
Commission vigorously enforces the City’s Human Rights Law, one of the most comprehensive civil rights
laws in the nation, and ensures that everyone is treated equally and fairly. Under the Law, individuals
who live in, work in, or visit the City are protected from discrimination in employment, housing and public
Seven years ago, I appointed a tough Brooklyn prosecutor -- Patricia L. Gatling -- to head our City’s antidiscrimination
efforts. She and her dedicated team of attorneys and human rights specialists have continued
to build on their accomplishments through innovation and accountability -- protecting and advancing the civil
rights of all New Yorkers and visitors.
These efforts are highlighted in the Commission’s 2008 Annual Report.
While our resiliency might be tested during this time of a national recession, the Commission has been
more vigilant than ever to investigate complaints of discrimination, test for systemic abuse, and educate the
We are New Yorkers together -- one city -- which is why I am so confident about our future. I commend
Commissioner Gatling and her staff for their vital role in this effort.