Meeting on human rights ordinance set for Connellsville
Connellsville City Council wants to hear what the public has to say about a proposed human rights ordinance, which was presented at council's February meeting.
The city will hold a public meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday in the Porter Theater at the Connellsville Community Center to take comment on the proposal.
“We want to give the community an opportunity to give their opinions on this proposed human rights ordinance,” Connellsville Mayor Greg Lincoln said.
Last week, city residents Daniel Cocks and Paula Johnston presented council with the ordinance, which was adopted in Philadelphia in 1982 and Pittsburgh in 1997.
Cocks and Johnston said the ordinance would promote high principles of ethics, honor and respect for others.
They said the ordinance would foster a “city public policy that would include the employment, housing and educating of all individuals in accordance with their fullest capacities, regardless of actual or perceived race, color, sex, religion, ancestry, genetic information, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, familial status, marital status, age, veteran status, mental or physical disability, use of guide or support animals and/or mechanical aids.”
They said the ordinance will safeguard everyone's right to obtain and hold employment and housing without discrimination.
Under the proposed ordinance, a human rights commission could be established and appointed by City Council for a term of three years.
The commission would receive written complaints of alleged discrimination and hold a fact-finding conference, allowing for the dispute to be resolved or dismissed. If a matter were unresolved, the commission would hold a public hearing. If discrimination is found, the commission could ask the accused to cease such practices or take action the commission deems appropriate, such as imposing civil penalties.
Ted Martin, the executive director of Equality Pennsylvania in Harrisburg, will attend and speak at the public meeting on Tuesday.
Martin said the main focus of the commission is to educate the public about why discrimination is wrong.
“The hope is having the commission to prevent it (discrimination) from happening,” Martin said.
Originally from Connellsville, Martin helped to get 14 such ordinances passed in 2010 across the state. He normally attends an average of six such public meetings each year.
“I think this says good things about Connellsville,” Martin said, adding there are economic benefits to passing such an ordinance. People will want to move to the area or start a business, he believes. “It says Connellsville is looking toward the future.”
Depending on the number of people requesting to speak, Lincoln said, each speaker will have a three-minute time limit.
“Council is hoping to hear what the community has to say about this ordinance,” Lincoln said. “We then can decide after this meeting if we would like to move forward with introducing this ordinance at our next council meeting.”
“We would like to see the city of Connellsville pass this ordinance,” Cocks said, “and show the residents that everyone has a fair chance in the city to progress and show to the rest of the county and area that Connellsville is a welcoming community.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Judge rules in favor of Seven Springs Mountain Resort over road closure
- Fayette twins injured as newborns expected to be adopted by foster mother
- Organizations benefit from grants
- CASD’s Mustache Club lends hand
- Lost bear hunter from Westmoreland County located
- Seven Springs fights lawsuit calling to keep Neals Run Road open in winter
- Fayette Chamber plans awards dinner
- Conn-Area to stage ‘Beauty and the Beast Jr.’
- Depleted Connellsville food bank in need of supplies
- Connellsville poster, poetry contest recognizes youths
- Dunbar Authority’s sewage project making progress