By Lisa Carolin
At its Dec. 4 meeting, the Chelsea Human Rights Commission approved 3-1 (Rod Anderson against; Debra Hockersmith absent) a motion to approve a draft resolution put together by HRC President Susan Morrel-Samuels based on the H.R. 5 Equality Act resolution.
Morrel-Samuels used language designed for municipalities to mirror the language in the HRC’s own discrimination policy. That resolution now goes to the Chelsea City Manager, who will create a copy of the resolution to give to City Council. The language must be approved by the City Council.
HRC member Rod Anderson said that passage of the H.R. 5 Equality Act resolution will lead to serious repercussions. Morrel-Samuels gave him the option to share his opinion with the City Manager and City Council in a letter of dissent.
The H.R. 5 Equality Act is a federal bill that was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in May of 2019 and would amend the Civil Rights Act to “prohibit discrimination on the basis of the sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition of an individual, as well as because of sex-based stereotypes.”
The HRC approved (4-0) staffing a table at the Chelsea District Library’s Martin Luther King Day activity Jan. 20 that will include a discussion led by an ACLU member about how to make a difference in your community using grass roots organizations.
MLK Day will also include a separate activity to shine the light for peace and justice.
The HRC needs to submit its 2020 annual plan to City Council by early February 2020, and members narrowed down the focus, based on the HRC survey with bullying, diversity, and racism as priorities, along with accentuating the positive aspects of the community and school climates in Chelsea.
HRC members will work on the plan at a Dec. 11 work session.