Erie County is taking steps to help give more residents a voice by hiring a new executive director for their Human Relations Commission.

“If someone is encountering any discrimination, whether it be towards race, gender, physical disability or any kind of disparity that they’re facing, I think it’s always difficult for that person to come forward and say that,” said Kelly Ryan, executive director, Erie County Human Relations Commission.

Erie County Councilman Andre Horton said the commission and its new executive director will give more residents a voice.

“Whether it’s been because of your race, gender, disability, or because of your sexual preference — who you love, who you don’t love — or because of your past criminal history, we think that everyone deserves a fair shake,” Horton said.

Horton said the commission will focus on addressing discrimination in three areas: employment, housing and public accommodation.

Erie County Council President Brian Shank said they want more people to know that help is available.

“We have to work on our social media. We don’t have a Twitter account, we don’t have Facebook, and that’s something that was one of the prerequisites we wanted from the new director is to make sure they understood websites, Twitter, social media and Instagram, because that’s where the people are,” said Shank.