Jefferson City flunks equality survey

8 months 3 days 17 hours ago Thursday, November 16 2017 Nov 16, 2017 Thursday, November 16, 2017 5:23:00 PM CST November 16, 2017 in News
By: Abby Dodge, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - Columbia scored a 100, Springfield came in at 21 and St. Charles collected 38 points, but the capital city received a zero out of a possible 100 points on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index, MEI, survey.

The survey is the only nationwide rating system for LGBTQ inclusion in city law and policy.

“Our legal department undergoes intensive research on city laws and policies based on publically available resources,” said MEI author and HRC legal counsel Xavier Persad.  “We take that information and compile it into a draft scorecard, which we then sent to the city manager’s office and the city mayor’s office.”

Jefferson city Mayor Carrie Tergin said she did receive the scorecard internally, but overlooked its significance.

“Sometimes I’ll get national things and not realize locally the importance of such a survey,” Tergin said.

Tergin reached out to the HRC recently and said she is looking forward to better working with them next year.

“It’s also great to kind of start those conversations and just make sure that we are welcoming because we are as much as we can be here in Jefferson City,” Tergin said. “We also want to make sure that we reflect that more on paper too. 

Persad said the survey isn’t just for city leaders, but for residents living in the community as well.  

“It’s important for residents to know what protections exist in their communities, and then it’s important for city leaders and advocates to understand what work is left to be done in tangible specifics,” Persad said.

He said cities could learn a lot about LGBTQ inclusive policies by working with the campaign and taking action.

“In the case of low scoring cities there is lots that can be done, but we want cities to know the specific steps and that we are here to work with them to improve that score,” Persad said.

One transgender woman in mid-Missouri said, with the publication of the survey, she hopes the city can move forward.

“The potential is there now,” Cathy Serino said. “Now that the city basically got a black eye, hopefully that will give us some momentum to change things in the city and maybe start laying groundwork for a nondiscrimination ordinance in the city along with the other factors the equality index covers to try and bring that score up.”

Serino said Jefferson City should be leading the may in policy, not taking direction from surrounding cities.

“It’s kind of embarrassing that your state capital city get a zero for equality,” Serino said. “You would think that it would be some little hillbilly town out in the middle of nowhere that would get the zero, not the state capital. “

Serino wants to help advance change in Jefferson City, so she is moving back and plans to take action right away.

“I’ve picked Jeff City because of this index. I’m going to move to Jeff City and I’m going to sign up for human relations commission,” Serino said.

Tergin said the human relations commission has been inactive recently due to a lack of interest from the community to fill the spots, but there are plans to restart the commission. The committee is something that the city will gain points for next year.  

“It’s more than points. It’s what’s actually what’s happening in the community and so we want to reflect what we truly are and that is a welcoming community,” Tergin said.  

Serino disagrees with Tergin on that point. During her time in Jefferson City she didn’t have the most welcoming experience.

“You couldn’t pay me to walk the sidewalks in Jeff City after dark,” Serino said. “There’s no way I’d ever take that chance.”

Serino said it’s a matter of protection against discrimination and overall safety.

“I’d watch my back a little more in Jeff city than I would in, say, Columbia,” Serino said.

Nationally HRC saw improvements from last year regionally and overall. Persad said every region in the country increased its regional average and the national averaged increased by two points.

Persad said the increase gives him hope and encouragement for the future.

“This report shows that city leaders are acting now. They are acting boldly despite state and federal efforts to roll back LGBTQ equality,” Persad said.

To see how other states matched up against Missouri visit HRC’s website

More News

Grid
List
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's choice for the Supreme Court has given members of Congress a pile of material... More >>
9 hours ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 2:52:51 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — The maker of a permanent contraceptive implant subject to thousands of injury reports and repeated safety restrictions... More >>
9 hours ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 2:28:05 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The man accused of carrying out last month's deadly shooting at a Maryland newspaper has been indicted on... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 1:42:30 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The 2018 Show-Me State Games kick off Friday, bringing thousands of athletes, coaches and fans from around the... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 1:15:00 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
ASHLAND – Seven locations throughout the state are open Saturday for parents to come and get their children I.D.’d, free... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 12:58:00 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Gracelyn Mae Violet Griffin already had a "Little Nugget" onesie picked out for her before she arrived in... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 12:35:28 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — An organization backing one of three competing medical marijuana initiatives in Missouri has continued to bring... More >>
12 hours ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 11:26:00 AM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A group of Columbia moms is starting Missouri Disability Empowerment, a new organization with big goals to help... More >>
17 hours ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 6:33:00 AM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - 64 years later, a different lake and nearly triple the death toll, the duck boat... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 9:12:00 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Russian intelligence operatives attempted to hack into the online accounts of staffers on three congressional campaigns in the... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 8:46:27 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — As Charlotte, North Carolina, celebrates being chosen Friday to host the 2020 Republican National Convention, an... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 8:05:32 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A cardiologist who treated former President George H.W. Bush was killed Friday morning in a bicycle-to-bicycle drive-by shooting... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 7:34:02 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department will move into a new neighborhood over the next few weeks. In July,... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 6:41:00 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A Steedman man was sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of domestic... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 5:22:00 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
ST. JOSEPH (AP) — A Missouri man has pleaded guilty in the fatal beating of his 77-year-old grandmother while he... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 3:59:00 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The FBI is in possession of a recording between President Donald Trump and his former personal attorney Michael... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 3:38:16 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY – House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty will resign from the Missouri House of Representatives effective Sunday in... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 12:57:00 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in Top Stories
COLE COUNTY — The Cole County Sheriff’s Department responded to possible weapons violation on Thursday night. When the officers... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 11:47:00 AM CDT July 20, 2018 in Top Stories
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 74°
12am 75°
1am 73°
2am 72°
3am 70°