The Greensboro City Council tackled a heady proposal head-on at a virtual work session on Tuesday, Sept. 15.
No, the City Council didn’t discuss what to do about the economic disaster that the COVID-19 shutdowns have caused for the city or how to help businesses recover and get people back to work.
The council also didn’t and has never discussed the vandalism and looting on May 30 and May 31 that caused millions of dollars in damages to businesses primarily downtown but also in other areas.
What the council did discuss was changing the name of the Human Relations Department. This is apparently one of the City Council’s major concerns moving forward, because work sessions are only held for the most pressing matters. Councilmembers have to wait months to have an item of concern finally make it on to a work session agenda.
But renaming the Human Relations Commission moved to the top of the list of major concerns by the City Council, which has stated as two of its top goals economic development and jobs. Fortunately, no one suggested that changing the name of the Human Relations Department would bring more jobs to Greensboro.
Human Relations Department Director Love Jones gave a presentation on why the name of the department should be changed. Those reasons include that it would provide clear and concise understanding for the general public, enhance the customer service experience, distinguish the Human Relations Department from other departments and would provide progressive branding for the city.
The council agreed to move forward to change the name of the Human Relations Department to the Department of Human Rights.
Mayor Nancy Vaughan said, “It just makes a lot of sense, the name change. Human Relations and HR has been confusing. I think Human Rights absolutely is a good name. It’s much more in alignment with what the department does.”
Councilmember Sharon Hightower said, “It’s the right thing to do, at the right time, for the right reasons.”
Economic development and jobs will just have to wait their turn to be in the City Council spotlight.