Jefferson City flunks equality survey

8 months 3 weeks 6 days 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
COLUMBIA - A judge ruled against Traveler Indemnity Company in a lawsuit stemming from Ryan Ferguson's wrongful prosecution and conviction... More >>
38 minutes ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 5:24:00 PM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The Indiana woman who lost nine members of her family in a duck boat sinking last month in... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 4:56:00 PM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
VERSAILLES - The Morgan County Sheriff's Office said a man died from a gunshot wound on Sunday, and Versailles police... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 1:45:00 PM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - With school starting today for Columbia Public Schools students, some construction projects are finished while others are just... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 1:44:00 PM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
Jefferson City - One person was injured in a car crash on the Missouri River Bridge on Tuesday. The... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 11:48:00 AM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - An Osage County judge ruled in favor of Missouri Secretary of State Jay Aschroft on Tuesday in... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 11:34:43 AM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
BEVIER - The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating a deputy-involved shooting in Macon County. The man whom a... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 10:32:00 AM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
MEXICO - Authorities responded to several small fires along railroad tracks running through town on Monday. Norfolk Southern Railroad... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 9:59:00 AM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
TAOS, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on 11 children found living in a filthy, makeshift compound in New Mexico (all... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 8:06:00 AM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska is preparing to carry out its first execution since 1997 on Tuesday in a bewildering... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 6:06:00 AM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill says she supports measures on Missouri's November ballot to increase the state's... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 5:58:00 AM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
AUDRAIN COUNTY - A man who found a dog "hopping" along Highway 54 with his legs and muzzle taped says... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, August 13 2018 Aug 13, 2018 Monday, August 13, 2018 9:47:00 PM CDT August 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Public Schools Board of Education unanimously approved a 9-cent increase in the operating tax rate ceiling... More >>
22 hours ago Monday, August 13 2018 Aug 13, 2018 Monday, August 13, 2018 8:00:00 PM CDT August 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Mugs Up Drive In's manager said the restaurant is back in tiptop shape after a power line accident... More >>
23 hours ago Monday, August 13 2018 Aug 13, 2018 Monday, August 13, 2018 6:49:00 PM CDT August 13, 2018 in News
MACON – A viral tweet is prompting the Missouri State Highway Patrol to warn people to call 911 if they... More >>
23 hours ago Monday, August 13 2018 Aug 13, 2018 Monday, August 13, 2018 6:20:00 PM CDT August 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Living Canvas, a tattoo, body piercing and art gallery on Broadway, is shutting its doors earlier than it... More >>
1 day ago Monday, August 13 2018 Aug 13, 2018 Monday, August 13, 2018 3:09:00 PM CDT August 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia City Council members said the city has reached a financial tipping point and now they have until... More >>
1 day ago Monday, August 13 2018 Aug 13, 2018 Monday, August 13, 2018 2:21:00 PM CDT August 13, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Democrats have voted to ditch a recently added tenet aimed at welcoming anti-abortion candidates. ... More >>
1 day ago Monday, August 13 2018 Aug 13, 2018 Monday, August 13, 2018 2:05:07 PM CDT August 13, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 78°
6pm 77°
7pm 76°
8pm 75°
9pm 73°