Savannah city council to vote on non-discrimination ordinance

ByZach LoganandWTOC Staff|July 23, 2020 at 7:12 AM EDT - Updated July 23 at 10:08 AM

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah City Council is expected to vote on a non-discrimination ordinance Thursday.

Those in favor say the ordinance would allow a person to file a complaint with the city rather than taking federal action, which some say can be lengthy and expensive.

There are rules and procedures already in place to protect someone from being discriminated against. But those with First City Pride Center, who has strongly been advocating for this ordinance, say the rules and procedures are federal protections, meaning if someone feels that they’re being discriminated against due to their race, religion, or sexual orientation, they have to take those concerns to the federal government and that can be expensive as well as time-consuming.

Supporters of the ordinance say if the proposal passes, Savannahians would be able to take their concerns to the local government who could then hand out fines.

When it comes to Thursday’s vote, supporters say they think they have enough votes to see it through.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. Council members will meet virtually, and the public can view it onlinehere.

In addition to voting on the non-discrimination ordinance, council members will also look at adopting Chatham County’s emergency operations plan. City leaders say adopting the plan would provide more resources to the city during a time of crisis.

For Thursday’s full meeting agenda,click here.

Also on Thursday, Mayor Van Johnson and former Mayor Dr. Otis Johnson will announce the formation of the Savannah Racial Equity and Leadership (REAL) taskforce at a news conference Thursday at 10 a.m. Watch it LIVE below:

Photo: WTOC

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