Charlottesville Council Discusses Possible Human Rights Commission
Emotions ran high at Charlottesville City Council Monday night, where the debate over starting a human rights commission was front and center.
Topics of race and gender equality dominated the conversation about the commission. Many spoke out in favor of creating the commission, but want to see some changes to the proposed ordinance. They want to see a commission with "teeth" that has enforcement ability.
Many also want to see ex-prisoners and the LGBT community added to the ordinance. It's something council will further discuss because that wording is excluded in Virginia code. While many are in favor of the commission, others say it isn't necessary.
"You cannot have an honest discussion about race without having an honest discussion about responsibility," said John Haden, who attended the meeting. He went on to say, "Yet the overwhelming majority of shootings, stabbings, robberies and other violent crimes are committed by blacks against both white and black victims."
His comments were followed by boos from the crowd.
"There shouldn't be anybody homeless, that there shouldn't be anyone uneducated and until this happens, we're not free. That's why we need a human rights council and I do believe we need a human rights council," said Kenneth Jackson, who was also at the meeting.
Council voted to move forward with the ordinance but not without some changes. They voted to include sexual orientation, poverty and other classifications.
The ordinance will come before Council for a second reading in March.
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