The county’s Human Relations Commission investigates discrimination. It’s hoping to boost its modest caseload.

William Price heads the Allegheny County commission charged with investigating discrimination. With all of the turmoil in recent months — including the rise of protests for racial justice and concerns about targeted evictions — he finds something surprising: The county Human Relations Commission handled only 11 cases in 2020 and just one through March of this year. The six members of the all-volunteer Allegheny County Human Relations Commission have backgrounds ranging from the legal field to the nonprofit sector. Price said the group feels as though they are not using their powers to the fullest potential, a concern reflected by the low case count. In contrast, the City of Pittsburgh Human Relations Commission has seen large numbers of cases during the past couple of years but declined to detail how many. Allegheny County Council established the county commission in 2009 to handle cases regarding discrimination against race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation and disability.