Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dallas County Commissioner Undecided About Adding Trans Workers To Non Discrimination Policy

While the rest of y'all were focused on Maryland, up Interstate 45 from me the Democratic majority on the Dallas County Commissioners Court was busy adding sexual orientation to their non discrimination policy that covers 7000 county workers.

There are two openly gay Dallas County elected officials, District Clerk Gary Fitzsimmons and Sheriff Lupe Valdez who have already established trans employment protections in their respective departments.   

In order to fulfill a campaign promise, the move to add sexual orientation to the non discrimination policy was spearheaded by newly elected Democratic County Judge Clay Jenkins and Commissioner Dr. Elba Garcia, who mistakenly believed that the sexual orientation language would cover trans workers in Dallas County.  

When informed it wouldn't, Judge Jenkins sought an opinion from the Dallas County District Attorney about the impact of adding gender identity language to the non discrimination policy.

So far so good.

But for the policy to pass, they need one vote on the five member commissioners court for the policy to pass, and that swing vote is longtime Dallas area civil rights advocate and current County Commissioner John Wiley Price.   After last night's scheduled commissioner's court meeting, according to the Dallas Voice Price is still unsure about whether he will vote to add the gender identity language to protect Dallas County trans workers 

But Price admitted that the testimony of Maeve O"Connor, a transwoman who spoke during the public comments section of last night's meeting had done more to sway him in that direction than anything said so far.

Note to you transpeeps... Don't be 'scurred' to speak in front of your local governmental bodies, it can make a difference between a trans protective policy passing or failing.  Ask EQ Maryland.

But back to Lone Star happenings.    Judge Jenkins is still awaiting the impact statement from the Dallas County district attorney,  and due to a commissioners court rule, speakers can only appear once a month.  

So if you're a Dallas area transperson interested in speaking before Commissioner's Court, contact Rafael McDonnell of Resource Center Dallas.    He'd love to hear from you and get you scheduled for a meeting that fits your schedule. 

And here's another opportunity to be an agent of your own liberation.   If you wish to encourage the Dallas County Commissioners to add gender identity to their non discrimination policy, here's the contact info

Be nice when doing so.  As my late grandmother used to say, you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.   Thank Judge Jenkins and Commisioner Garcia for pushing this issue.

County Judge Clay Jenkins – 214-653-7949

District 1 Maurine Dickey – 214-653-7552

District 2 Mike Cantrell – 214-653-6100

District 3 John Wiley Price – 214-653-6671

District 4 Dr. Elba Garcia – 214-653-6670

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