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?"
"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."
"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."