Mayor Horrigan Proposes Comprehensive Non-Discrimination Ordinance and Creation of the Akron Civil Rights Commission
City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of Ellen Lander Nischt, Press Secretary
Akron, Ohio, March 20, 2017 – Today, Mayor Dan Horrigan and Ward 1 Councilman Rich Swirsky introduced to Akron City Council a comprehensive non-discrimination ordinance that, if passed, would add protections against discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations, and create the Akron Civil Rights Commission to hear complaints. If passed, Akron will join many other major cities in Ohio that have enacted similar protections in recent years.
“No one, should live in fear, of being fired, being denied service, or being denied a place to live, just because of who they are,” Mayor Horrigan said in bringing this proposal forward. “And I truly believe that if Akron is to live up to its reputation as a ‘welcoming city’ – it needs to be more than just words on paper. We must fulfill what the 14th Amendment promises– equal protection for all, not just for some.”
The proposed ordinance will protect individuals from discrimination on the basis of “age, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, familial status, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or military status.” The proposed ordinance covers discrimination in housing (e.g. rental, sale, financing, terms/conditions); employment (hiring, promotion, discipline, working conditions, salary, etc.); public accommodations (access to goods, services, business and public spaces); and City contracts.
The proposed Akron Civil Rights Commission will consist of 5-7 members, to be appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by Council. The Commission will have the power to investigate and mediate complaints and otherwise enforce the provisions of the new non-discrimination ordinance.
“Although we may have diverse beliefs and come from many different backgrounds, in Akron we know that treating others unfairly is wrong, and we do not hesitate to stand up for our neighbors. This proposed ordinance will affirm those values, and make Akron an even stronger, more welcoming community that embraces residents, workers, visitors and businesses,” Mayor Horrigan said. “I want to thank those in the community who worked with us over several months to bring this important ordinance forward.”
Questions and comments should be directed to Ellen Lander Nischt, Press Secretary / Assistant Director of Law at (330) 375-2325 or ELander@akronohio.gov.
For further information, contact:
Ellen Lander Nischt
Press Secretary / Assistant Director of Law