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Ward 3 Candidate Question of the Week: Human Rights

Ward 3 Gulfport City Council Candidates Jennifer Salmon and James Perry answer our fourth Gulfport Patch "Candidate Question of the Week."

Voters will head to the polls on Tuesday, March 13, for a citywide vote to decide who will represent Gulfport City Council in Wards 3 and 1.

To help inform the community, Gulfport Patch will publish a City Council Candidate Question of the Week for both candidates.

Below you will find the answers from Ward 3 Candidates James Perry and Jennifer Salmon.

This week's question is a reader-submitted question.

Gulfport Patch Question of the Week: "Where do you stand on Gulfport’s Human Rights Ordinance?"

Jennifer Salmon

"I am a steadfast proponent of equal rights for all people. I volunteered on the coalition that successfully passed the Human Rights Ordinance on October 4, 2005 by a vote of 5 to 0. It was a great day for Gulfport. 

According to Chapter 26-1 of our City Code of Ordinances:

"It is the intent of the city council, in enacting this chapter, to protect and safeguard the right and opportunity of all persons to be free from all forms of discrimination, including discrimination based on age, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or physical characteristic. The council's purpose in enacting this chapter is to promote the public health and welfare of all persons who live in, visit and work in the city. It is important for the city to ensure that all persons within the city have equal access to employment, housing, public accommodations, and education. It is the city's intent to work cooperatively, to the maximum extent possible, with other government entities that may provide similar protections and to avoid unnecessary duplication of services. It is the desire of the city council to foster and encourage the growth and development of the city in a manner that will assure all persons an equal opportunity to live free of discrimination imposed by age, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or physical characteristic. Discriminatory practices are contrary to the public policy of the city and are a menace to the public peace and welfare of our citizens. The city shall direct its efforts and resources toward eliminating discriminatory practices within the city in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations, and education where they exist."

Our city includes domestic partners in its employee benefits. Our businesses have carried out the ordinance as shown by just two complaints in six years.  I promote diversity through my invocations at Council meetings, bringing back the diverse display of holiday traditions in December; and reminding everyone about our HRO when the opportunity arises. Our city is stronger because of our diversity."

James Perry

"I have reviewed the Chapter 26 Civil Rights Ordinance. The Council's purpose to enact this chapter is to promote and safeguard the public health and welfare of all persons who live in, visit and work in the City.  

I stand in support of this Ordinance and absolutely believe we are a City and Nation of diverse individuals, who deserve the right and opportunity to be free from all forms of discrimination.  

I have grown up in this community and during this campaign have had the opportunity to meet many more of our citizens and from this experience it is clear to me the value that diversity brings to our community."

Leonardo February 14, 2012 at 05:17 AM
One of the reasons my partner and I moved to Gulfport was for its open and diverse culture. When the ordinance passed in 2005, we knew we made the right choice to call Gulfport home. The Human Rights Ordinance is very important to us, our family and our friends. I am pleased that 3 of the 4 candidates took the time to share their thoughts and support for Gulfport's Human Rights Ordinance. I am appalled that the 4th candidate, Liedtke, only made a short, vague, one sentence answer to a question that is very important to many citizens of Gulfport. I am very concerned that this 4th candidate is not aware of the Human Rights Ordinance or how important it is to me, my partner, family, friends, and citizens of Gulfport.
Mr. Fish February 14, 2012 at 04:41 PM
This was such a non question, I do not know why the PATCH even bothered to ask this. Why not ask about more pressing problems, like how is Gulfport preparing for the up coming climate change where the seas will rise?
Douglas Hudson February 14, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Cherlene, Thanks very much for the question this week. To some of it is VERY important.
Cherlene Willis February 14, 2012 at 08:14 PM
I invite readers to submit questions for the candidates for future postings. Please email questions to me via email at cherlene.willis@patch.com. Thanks, Cherlene
Mark L Grantham February 14, 2012 at 09:08 PM
the HRO and the people that it has protected is absolutely wonderful! Gulfport should be proud that it led the way for other surrounding cities to follow suit! The HRO is a valed topic, for unfortunately, there are many individuals out there that demonstrate emotions and opinions that are not in line with the average person in Gulfport. Gulfport and the people living here should be very happy to be protected in many ways!
Mr. Fish February 14, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Well then Charlene, how does the candidate feel about the Gulfport City Attorney giving bad legal advice to the City Council?
mtober February 15, 2012 at 02:30 AM
@ Mr. Fish a/k/a Jim Greenwald- Exactly what was the bad advice and who determined it was bad advice? There also are generally two sides to every story.;-)
Nancy Kelley February 15, 2012 at 12:22 PM
Thank you, Mark Grantham. I am grateful for the HRO and to be living here in Gulfport. I do remember Anita Bryant of Tropicana OJ!!!
Mr. Fish February 15, 2012 at 05:55 PM
mtober: Please see my responses on Candidates One page.
mtober February 18, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Congratulations to Jennifer Salmon who was unanimously endorsed by the Stonewalls of Pinellas County!!

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