Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan is working to establish a group to provide input on how to implement the city’s new anti-discrimination ordinance approved by the City Council in August.
The ordinance, set to go into effect Sept. 20, prohibits business owners and landlords from unjustly firing or evicting someone because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic background, marital status or veteran status. It creates a civil rights administrator position to receive and investigate complaints from residents who feel they are victims of those specific types of discrimination.
Civil rights input meeting
Date: Thursday, Sept. 4
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: City Hall room 326
Address: 113 W. Mountain St.
Broadcast: Meeting will be filmed and later aired on the Fayetteville Government Channel.
Source: City of Fayetteville
The idea for the group was suggested by Steve Clark, president and CEO of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, in a Aug. 28 letter written to Jordan.
“With the passage of the new civil rights ordinance, the business community has become very concerned as to how the city will implement … the ordinance,” Clark said in the letter.
“Since these rules and enforcement provisions must provide fundamental fairness and due process to all affected by or involved in the process of being judged according to this ordinance, the business community asks that you appoint an advisory board immediately to assist you and your team in preparation of these rules and enforcement provisions.”
Clark said clarifications are needed on the definitions of some legal terms like “socioeconomic background,” “physical characteristic,” and “good faith.”
He suggested the group include representatives of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, members of the retail business and real estate industry, faith leaders, and civil rights lawyers.
The membership of the panel
has not yet been determined is listed below, and the group meets at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4 inside room 326 at City Hall, 113 W. Mountain St. in downtown Fayetteville.
Residents are invited to attend, but the meeting will not include a public comment period, as nearly 10 hours of public input was received during the final reading of the ordinance on Aug. 19. According to a news release, the meeting will be filmed and later aired on the Fayetteville Government Channel.
Civil rights ordinance input panel
Lioneld Jordan – Mayor, City of Fayetteville
Lindsley Smith – Director of Communications, City of Fayetteville
Leif Olson – Planner, City of Fayetteville
Kit Williams – City Attorney, City of Fayetteville
Bill Bradley – President and CEO, Washington Regional Medical Center; Chairman, Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce
Tony Uth – Partner CPA, HoganTaylor Accounting; Treasurer, Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce
Anne Mourney – General counsel, Lindsey Management Co., Inc.
Sue Madison – Landlord; former Arkansas state representative and senator
Laura Hampton – Representative, disabled community
Maria Baez de Hicks – Representative, Hispanic community
Jim Huffman – Pastor, Christ’s Church
Lowell Grisham – Rector, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
Curtiss Smith – Pastor, St. James Missionary Baptist Church
Kim Coats – Special counsel, Littler Mendelson employment and labor law practice
Mark Martin – Partner attorney, Martin Law Firm
Kate Bartow – Representative, NWA Center for Equality
James Rector – Board president, NWA Center for Equality
Anne Shelley – Executive director, Northwest Arkansas Rape Crisis Center
Danielle Wood – Director, University of Arkansas Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance