Non-discrimination working group taking it slow

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 Augusta, Ga (WJBF)The working group crafting a non-discrimination ordinance for Augusta promises to take it slow to get it right. 

“We’re going around the block and that’s not a bad thing I think it’s good it’s best for us to ask as many questions now before implementation so that when we finally implement, we don’t have to go back and amend something,” said Commissioner Jordan Johnson.  

 The city’s proposed non-discrimination ordinance calls for the Compliance Department to investigate discrimination complaints at city businesses.

The department Director said if the ordinance is approved at least three new investigators would be needed.  

 The working group hearing from a former Atlanta city councilor who created that city’s ordinance 20 years ago.  

 Saying In Atlanta and the other Georgia cities with ordinances that hasn’t been the case.  

“But experience has not born out that people would have to add staff there would be some deluge of cases, that there would be frivolous cases, or it would be out of control that simply hasn’t happened,” said Cathy Woolard.  

The committee has already met twice and is planning more sessions before making its recommendation even though Augusta has been talking about a non-discrimination ordinance for a well more than a year.  

“I do think justice delayed is justice denied, but I also think we need to get it right and we need public input from interested parties,” said Matthew Duncan, of Equality Augusta.  

“We’re taking our time and we’re presenting something that will work and that will stand that takes time to do,” said Commissioner Johnson.  

 The Chair of the group Commissioner Francine Scott says the plan is to hear from another Georgia city with a non-discrimination ordinance in two weeks. 

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