The Greensboro City Council agenda for the Tuesday, Jan. 19 virtual meeting has no information on the two items that are likely to garner the most discussion.
Item 39 reads, “Ordinance Amendment ***This agenda will be reposted at a later date with additional information.”
“Ordinance Amendment” doesn’t give the public much to go on since the city has an entire book of ordinances, and according to the agenda any one of them could be amended.
But City Councilmember Justin Outling in his monthly Java with Justin meeting, which is now held virtually on Facebook, said that this ordinance amendment referred to the infamous House Bill-2, better known as HB2.
HB2 was passed by the North Carolina General Assembly in March 2016 to eliminate a Charlotte ordinance that had allowed people to use public restrooms based on their “gender identity” and not the gender on their birth certificates.
In 2017, the NC General Assembly passed a bill that repealed HB2 but prohibited cities and counties from passing anti-discrimination ordinances for a period of time that recently expired.
According to Outling, the Item 39 “Ordinance Amendment” is to consider an amendment that would prohibit discrimination in areas that are not otherwise protected.
Outling said that he hoped the City Council would have a work session on this topic. However, since the ordinance amendment is on the agenda for adoption, it doesn’t appear that work session is planned.
The other item that also has no information about it is Item 38 “Resolution to Adopt the 2020 Legislative Agenda.” It is also followed by the notation, “***This agenda will be reposted at a later date with additional information.”
The legislative agenda is a list of items that the Greensboro City Council would like to see the state legislature pass in the 2021 session, which started this week.
The City Council already had a discussion in the work session on Tuesday, Jan. 5 on a proposed legislative agenda that was made available to councilmembers but not to the public. Not having the proposed legislative agenda during the meeting made it nearly impossible to follow the discussion.
But there was a lively discussion and many of the issues remained unresolved.
At that meeting Outling spoke in favor of narrowing down the legislative agenda to the few items that were most important to the city rather than having a lengthy legislative agenda where the emphasis on key items would be diluted.
Perhaps the city has followed that advice, perhaps not. Without the proposed legislative agenda being available to the public, it is unknown.