Human Rights & Relations Commission

The Commission is responsible for advising and counseling the Edina City Council on matters relating to discrimination and human relations.

The members implement programs of education and community action which have been approved by the Council; cooperate with State agencies in their programs of human rights; and investigate, study, report and undertake other functions assigned to local commissions.

The Commission consists of nine regular voting members and two student members appointed by the Mayor with the consent of a majority of the Council. Members serve a term of three years, and student members have one-year terms.

The Commission works on human rights-related issues throughout the year in its mission to create a more equitable community for all who live, work, and study in Edina.   

In 2010, the Commission led the way in establishing a Domestic Partnership ordinance. The registry is similar to those in Minneapolis, Duluth and St. Paul.

Any two unmarried adults in a committed relationship may apply for domestic partnership certificates in the Office of the City Clerk, as long as one of them lives or works in Edina. Domestic partners will also be eligible for family memberships, registrations or fees offered at City facilities or for City services.

In 2015, the Commission held a number of events that celebrated the goal of equity and human rights in both the city of Edina and the state of Minnesota. This included holding an annual community event titled "Days of Remembrance," in conjunction with the state’s Genocide awareness and prevention month. The event commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and 70th Anniversary of the end of World War II. The event also memorialized the survivors of other genocides throughout history. Guest speaker Dora Zaidenweber, a Holocaust survivor, shared her personal story and her commitment to raising awareness among future human rights advocates.

Other events included honoring Jessica Kingston, the 2015 winner of the Tom Oye Human Rights Award and a public program titled “Combating Human Trafficking in Minnesota,” co-sponsored by Edina High School’s Against Modern Day Slavery student Club and the EHRRC. The purpose of the event was to educate our community, raise awareness of human and sex trafficking issues in Minnesota and encourage our community to take action. This event included a speaker from “Breaking Free,” who also participated on a panel discussion made up of speakers from local organizations and activists combating human trafficking and related issues.


All meetings are open to the public.

7 p.m.
4th Tuesday of the month
Edina City Hall
4801 W. 50th St

Click here to view the archive of meetings.

2016 Meetings Calendar

Click here to view the 2016 calendar of City Council, Boards and Commission meetings.

Staff Information

Staff Liaison:
MJ Lamon

For more information or involvement opportunities, contact the Commission by emailing

Human Rights & Relations Commission Members

Chair: Pat Arseneault
Vice Chair: Sarah Rinn
Members:  Catherine Beringer, Heather Edelson, Cindy Edwards, Ellen Kennedy, Kristina Martin, Michelle Meek, and Maggie Vecchio-Smith.
Student Members: Sid Ramesh and Caitlin Kearney

2015 HRRC Bylaws

2015 HRRC Work Plan

© 2016 City Of Edina, Minnesota