December 10, 2012

News Release

For Immediate Release

Public Involvement Committee Recommends Task Force Members

City Council's Public Involvement Committee narrowed down a list of 48 applicants to a recommended seven members and two alternates at today's noon meeting. The recommended slate will go to Mayor Bob Stephens for review. City Council could vote to adopt the complete 18-member roster as soon as Monday, Dec. 17.

The process today involved each committee member voting on his or her top five choices. The top vote-getters were then discussed and voted upon.

The members selected today include:

The two alternates are:

Eight members of the task force had previously been selected and approved by the Mayor and City Council. They include:

The task force is expected to begin meeting after the first of the year. Members will have until June 30 to submit a report and make a recommendation to City Council. Any recommendations out of the task force will still require approval by City Council before they take effect.

Scope of Duties:

The History of the Issue

City Council voted in August to table and "send to task force" a controversial proposal which would have added sexual orientation and gender identity to the City's anti-discrimination law. City council formally adopted a resolution to create this Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Citizens' Task Force (pdf), and charge the group to look into discrimination related to sexual orientation and gender identity in the city.

The task force will allow voices into the discussion that were not a part of the ordinance's formation, Mayor Stephens said.

About the City's Current Non-discrimination Ordinance

City Code currently prohibits discrimination based on factors such as race, religion and disability when offering employment, housing or public accommodations, such as hotel rooms or restaurants. Federal law includes some limited protections, but Missouri law currently contains no provision against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The original proposal was brought forward by the Mayor's Commission on Human Rights, a citizen board in charge of investigating and mediating discrimination complaints. It would have amended the existing City Code to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected categories when it comes to employment, public housing and public accommodations.

For more information, contact: Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, 417-864-1009 (office) | 417-380-3352 (cell), cscott@springfieldmo.gov

city of springfield

Office of the City Clerk

840 Boonville Avenue • P.O. Box 8368 • Springfield, MO 65801
417-864-1651 • Fax: 417-864-1649 • springfieldmo.gov