As allies, it is important that we stay engaged with the Jacksonville City Council to continually remind them we demand passage of a comprehensive Human Rights Ordinance for the protection and fair treatment of our LGBT community. Below is a sample letter you can use to let them know we expect them to pass HRO legislation in the city of Jacksonville immediately. TAKE ACTION today and contact the city council representative in your district.
Dear [City Councilmember XXXX],
As a concerned citizen and straight ally, I believe that our city has a responsibility to treat all people equitably. Currently, Jacksonville does not afford the same workplace and housing protections to its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members of our community as to their non-LGBT counterparts. This is unacceptable.
Ensuring equality for all is the right thing to do and good for the bottom line. This lack of local legal protection for gays and lesbians hurts the city’s ability to attract talented workers at a time when Jacksonville is competing with other cities for businesses. According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), among Fortune 500 companies, 88-percent have sexual orientation non-discrimination policies and 57-percent have gender identity non-discrimination policies. Additionally, more than 90 companies have joined the Business Coalition for Workplace Fairness, a group of leading U.S. employers that support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. A poll by Small Business Majority shows two-thirds of small business owners support a federal law prohibiting discrimination against LGBT workers and job applicants.
In addition, I believe that we have a human responsibility to view each other as equals and that nothing is more important than our humanity. I urge you to support the expansion of the human rights ordinance to add protection for members of the community.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
[Your Address and Contact Information]
**If You Hear Back from your Council Person
Make sure to be gracious and civil. If the council person apologizes or wishes to learn more about the We Are Straight Ally campaign, be sure to direct them to our website: www.wearestraightallies.com.
2 thoughts on “ALLY ACTION ALERT! Contact City Council”
this doesn’t make any strategic sense, and doing it now will discourage people from doing it when it does make strategic sense–which will be after the election, as most people aren’t going to present any legislation before the same council that couldn’t even pass protections for LGB people.
Hi Jason –
Thank you so much for that input! We weighed the option of delaying communications, but with several groups speaking out publicly, in regards to the need for a comprehensive ordinance, we must plan for the city council to consider a new HRO as early as 2014. We also know that this may not happen, and further consideration could be delayed until 2015. However, the more often council members see/hear public support for the HRO, the greater the opportunity we have to change the hearts and minds of those who voted down the protections last year. Movements are sometimes slow and we anticipate several rounds of discussions, letter writing, changes, meetings, education, etc. will have to happen before we see positive and meaningful change – not only at the legislative level, but at a community level as well.