Mayor names input group members to discuss implementing new civil rights ordinance

A crowd began forming inside City Hall at around 3 p.m. Aug. 19 for a 5:30 p.m. City Council meeting which included the final reading of a contentious anti-discrimination ordinance.

Photo: Todd Gill, Flyer staff

Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan has selected a group of people to help provide input on how to implement the city’s new civil rights ordinance approved by the City Council in August.

The ordinance, which goes into effect Sept. 20, prohibits business owners and landlords from unjustly firing or evicting someone because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic background, marital status or veteran status. It creates a civil rights administrator position to receive complaints from residents who feel they are victims of those specific types of discrimination.

The idea for the group was suggested by Steve Clark, president and CEO of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, in a Aug. 28 letter (PDF) written to Jordan.

The group include representatives of the LGBT, disabled, and ethnic minority communities; business leaders; area employers; members from the local real estate industry; civil rights lawyers; faith leaders; and city representatives.

“I tried to choose a very diverse group of people who represent not only the protected classes and the business owners, but also those who were against the ordinance itself,” said Jordan.

Jordan will serve as chairman of the group’s input session, which is scheduled for 6 p.m Thursday, Sept. 4 inside room 326 at City Hall, 113 W. Mountain St. in downtown Fayetteville.

Jordan said residents are invited to attend, but the meeting will not include a public comment period, as nearly 10 hours of public input was received during the final reading of the ordinance on Aug. 19.

The meeting is scheduled to be filmed by and later aired on the Fayetteville Government Channel.

Civil rights ordinance input panel

Lioneld Jordan (group chairman) – Mayor, City of Fayetteville

Bill Bradley – President and CEO, Washington Regional Medical Center; Chairman, Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce

Tony Uth – Partner CPA, HoganTaylor Accounting; Treasurer, Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce

Anne Mourney – General counsel, Lindsey Management Co., Inc.

Sue Madison – Landlord; former Arkansas state representative and senator

Laura Hampton – Representative, disabled community

Maria Baez de Hicks – Representative, Hispanic community

Jim Huffman – Pastor, Christ’s Church

Lowell Grisham – Rector, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

Curtiss Smith – Pastor, St. James Missionary Baptist Church

Kim Coats – Special counsel, Littler Mendelson employment and labor law practice

Mark Martin – Partner attorney, Martin Law Firm

Kate Bartow – Representative, NWA Center for Equality

James Rector – Board president, NWA Center for Equality

Anne Shelley – Executive director, Northwest Arkansas Rape Crisis Center

Danielle Wood – Director, University of Arkansas Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance

Lindsley Smith – Director of Communications, City of Fayetteville

Leif Olson – Planner, City of Fayetteville

Kit Williams – City Attorney, City of Fayetteville