A bicoastal plea for equality — North Little Rock, too, in other words | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, February 15, 2015

A bicoastal plea for equality — North Little Rock, too, in other words

Posted By on Sun, Feb 15, 2015 at 1:09 PM

click to enlarge screen_shot_2015-02-15_at_1.07.20_pm.png

I've written that an effort is afoot by City Director Kathy Webb to introduce a civil rights ordinance that includes LGBT people under the protection of Little Rock law, in advance of the effective date of a gay discrimination law just passed by the legislature.

Now comes word of a grassroots drive to encourage North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith to get moving on the north shore, too.

Historically, after all, the arts community has been a welcoming place for diversity in sexual orientation. Smith is working on a plan to build a major arts center in downtown North Little Rock.

V.L. Cox, a noted artist, has mounted the on-line petition drive.  It says, in part:

I am writing to ask you propose a resolution at the next City Council meeting, suspend the rules, and immediately enact an ordinance that North Little Rock will not support discrimination against any its residents from a for-profit business for any reason. Such a resolution is necessary to send a powerful message to the Governor that discrimination of any kind against any person is wrong and that North Little Rock welcomes all of its citizens.

As of April 2013, 434 (88%) of the Fortune 500 companies had implemented non-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation, and 282 (57%) had policies that include gender identity, according to the Human Rights Campaign. The message from these corporations is loud and clear—the quality and dignity of life of their workforce is important to them because happy and healthy employees grow business when they operate in a discrimination-free workplace. Why would any of these corporations want to come to a city where their workforce has to worry about their quality of life?

North Little Rock has an incredibly bright future. I am proud of all the accomplishments under Mayor Hays, this city council, as well as the future of the City under Mayor Smith. However, I am worried that attracting business and industry will become a major challenge with law that basically says the workforce is open-season for discrimination—that North Little Rock tolerates discrimination against some members of the community, that only SOME people are welcome here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Sign up for the Daily Update email

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • The inspiring Hillary Clinton

    Hillary Clinton's campaign for president illustrates again the double standard applied to women. Some writers get it. They even find the supposedly unlikable Clinton inspiring.
    • Oct 16, 2016
  • Trump's strangulation of Obamacare

    If he can't kill it outright, Donald Trump will do all he can to cripple Obamacare. Vox has detailed reporting on deep cuts in federal spending that support nonprofit agencies that help people sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
    • Sep 18, 2017
  • UPDATE: Hutchinson moves to cover himself on cut to War Memorial Stadium

    Gov. Asa Hutchinson apparently felt the burn from KARK's exclusive Tuesday night on his plans to cut state support of War Memorial Stadium in half beginning July 1, 2018. He has a so-far secret plan to make the stadium self-sustaining. We bet that doesn't include state support.
    • Oct 20, 2016

People who saved…

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: The election open line

    • The millage increase for the Special School District pass comfortably tonight. We thought it was…

    • on May 23, 2018
  • Re: French Hill v. Nancy Pelosi

    • Sounds like fairyland French Hill. He runs scared already. Seems he has no strengths, except…

    • on May 23, 2018
  • Re: Thurston leads secretary of state primary

    • In my opinion, Susan Inman will work circles around John Thurston.

    • on May 23, 2018



© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation