PETITION: Call for the Creation of a Civil Rights Committee
August 16, 2016
Athens-Clarke County Mayor Nancy Denson and Commissioners:
We, the undersigned, call upon the Athens-Clarke County Mayor and Commission to incorporate into the proposed Anti-Discrimination Ordinance a Civil Rights Committee (previously referred to as a Human Relations Commission) whose task it is to review and recommend action on issues and concerns related to human rights and civil rights.
The county can no longer ignore the discrimination occurring in Athens. The county’s proposed Anti-Discrimination Ordinance is one step in fighting discrimination in downtown bar establishments on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, citizenship, age, disability or pregnancy.
However, a Civil Rights Committee is critical to ensure that the proposed ordinance is effectively enforced. The purpose of this committee should be to hear and judge validity of claims of discrimination; collect and analyze data relating to issues of discrimination/harassment; monitor actions of appropriate governmental bodies in addressing discrimination/harassment claims; issue official findings which may be referenced in a court of law; and make recommendations on actions to be taken by the county, such as mediation or the suspending of alcohol or business licenses.
This should be a diverse committee representative of the people most vulnerable to discrimination in our community. An Athens Civil Rights Committee, formed by the Board of Commissioners, in partnership with the community, would develop trust and participation with disenfranchised citizens and address the broader challenges our community faces.
Petition Closed and will be submitted to the Clarke County Unified Government
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