The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is an independent bipartisan, fact-finding agency established by Congress to collect information relating to discrimination or the denial of equal protection of the laws under the Constitution based on race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, national origin, or in the administration of justice, to inform the development of national civil rights policy, and to enhance enforcement of federal civil rights laws. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights advises the President and Congress on civil rights matters, and issues a federal civil rights enforcement report. For information about the Commission’s reports and meetings, visit http://www.usccr.gov.
The United States Commission on Civil Rights has established state advisory committees in each state to advise the Commission on matters pertaining to discrimination or denials of equal protection of the law. State advisory committee members conduct reviews and produce reports and recommendations concerning local civil rights issues, including justice, voting, discrimination, housing and education. Congress mandates that the federal Commission appoint volunteer members to advisory committees in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Appointees to the federal State Advisory Committees serve four-year terms.
Alvina Earnhart is the Chairperson of the Colorado State Advisory Committee for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. She has served in this capacity and as a member of the Colorado State Advisory Committee since October 25, 2016. The Colorado State Advisory Committee consists of 14 members representative of various parts of Colorado. The Colorado State Advisory Committee meets once a month. All meetings are open to the public and are noticed in the Federal Register.
The Colorado State Advisory Committee has issued the following reports since 2016:
* Citizenship Delayed: Civil Rights and Voting Rights Implications of the Backlog in Citizenship and Naturalization Applications, Report of the Colorado Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Sept. 2019. (On September 30, 2018, the Colorado State Advisory Committee voted to study the civil rights implications of the citizenship and naturalization backlog in Colorado. On February 22, 2019, the Colorado State Advisory Committee hosted a full day hearing consisting of three panel discussions and a community forum to hear testimony from immigrant communities, immigrant advocates, academic experts and government officials with expertise on the backlog and its effects. This report begins with a brief overview of the citizenship process and the civil rights concerns implicated by application processing delays. It then presents findings based on the hearing, written testimony, and additional research in the public record. It concludes with recommendations for reducing the backlog and addressing related concerns. This report was adopted unanimously by the Colorado State Advisory Committee on June 14, 2019.) The report is located at: https://www.usccr.gov/pubs/2019/09-12-Citizenship-Delayed-Colorado-Naturalization-Backlog.pdf
* The Colorado Constitution’s No Aid to Sectarian Institutions Clause and Its Impact on Civil Rights, Report of the Colorado Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Sept. 2018. (Report regarding religious discrimination in Colorado, and its impact on targeted communities. The contents of this report were based on testimony received by the Colorado State Advisory Committee during a public hearing held in Denver, Colorado, on July 18, 2017, a public teleconference hearing on Jan. 25, 2018, and documents submitted in relation to those public hearings. This report details civil rights concerns relating to religious discrimination in Colorado, as based on the anti-sectarian clause in the Colorado Constitution, article IX, § 7. The report was adopted by the Advisory Committee by a vote of 7 to 1.) The report is located at: https://www.usccr.gov/pubs/2018/09-27-CO-Sectarian.pdf
The Colorado State Advisory Committee is currently working on advisory memorandums regarding maternal mortality and fetal and infant mortality rates in Colorado.