Tucker residents urge city council to pass nondiscrimination ordinanceTucker City Hall. Photo by Dean Hesse.
This story has been updated.
Tucker, GA — During public comment at the Tucker City Council’s April 24 meeting, several people spoke supporting the city passing a non-discrimination ordinance, which has been a matter for discussion in Tucker for some time.
Resident Daphne Reiley praised the diversity of Tucker neighborhoods and the positive impact she felt that had on her sons who are now adults. Reiley encouraged the council to pass an NDO.
A labor employment lawyer, Thomas Walker said that the ordinance would not single anyone out for preferential treatment and asked that the NDO be placed on the next meeting’s agenda.
Robin Biro, who ran for mayor against current Mayor Frank Auman in 2021 and focused his campaign on the need for an NDO, said that a local business owner told him during that campaign that they wanted to be able to discriminate against transgender people.
Biro said that in his hometown of Columbia, SC, he was told that as a gay man, he’d never make it in real estate there, and he should stay in Atlanta.
“That’s why I’m here. That’s why I’m trying to raise my family here. Please pass the NDO. It will affect me and my family,” Biro said.
Councilmember Noelle Monferdini said that she would like to see the NDO on the agenda for May 8.
Councilmember Alexis Weaver also supports getting the item on the May 8 agenda. According to the city’s charter, two councilmembers can add an item to any agenda.
“I’m eager to join Council Monferdini in doing so and hope the NDO finally gets a first read very soon,” Weaver told Decaturish.
Getting an NDO passed has been a years-long effort that has met with resistance, notably from Mayor Auman who didn’t attend the April 24 meeting due to a work commitment. Councilmember Anne Lerner announced an NDO working group back in April 2022. That came six months after Mayor Auman and City Council members supported a resolution for an “inclusive, fair and welcoming city.”
When Tucker City Council passed the resolution, Tucker Open Door — the group working to create the NDO — said the sentiment of the city’s resolution is commendable, but the resolution is not enforceable.
Walker, who spoke during the April 24 meeting, also serves on the working group.
Mayor Auman has said that he has had “serious reservations” about passing an ordinance that has been adopted by several DeKalb County cities, including Doraville, Decatur, Clarkston, Chamblee, Dunwoody and Brookhaven.
“I have serious reservations about trying to use the force of law to bring about the change we’d like to see on this matter,” Auman said in a Q&A published during the last city elections. “My concerns include the fact that such a law is outside our purview, it creates division instead of unity, and it will lead to all sorts of needless, expensive legal action by and among our citizens. The unintended consequences could be severe, and we are far from a consensus as to the solution.”
Correction: An earlier version of this story gave an incorrect date for when the ordinance will be considered. It has been suggested that the city council consider the ordinance on May 8. Also, the name of a resident was misspelled. This story has been updated with the correct information.
Writer Logan C. Ritchie contributed reporting to this story.
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