Sioux Falls City Council Diversity Statement Well Placed [OPINION]
The Sioux Falls City Council on Tuesday (March 20) unanimously approved a resolution in support of more inclusive community.
These resolutions are generally meaningless, as they hold no authority to actually do anything.
What I find refreshing about this resolution -- introduced by Councilor Pat Starr and backed by a coalition of labor unions -- was the unanimity of it. It’s hard to know what’s in people’s hearts, but I do believe that on the whole my city is a welcoming place where all people can mostly feel welcome. There is opportunity here.
And we need people.
The resolution reads, in part: "...we support and encourage the citizens of Sioux Falls to establish and maintain a welcoming and inclusive community and to foster respect for all persons, regardless of race, religion, creed, gender identification, sexual orientation, age, disability, ancestry, and country of origin."
Whether the sentiment is philosophical, humanitarian or practical, it’s the right one.
Nearly 20 percent of the residents of Sioux Falls are non-white or Hispanic. And that's only going to grow as more than one-third of students in the Sioux Falls School District are of racial or ethnic minorities.
This resolution stands in stark contrast to much of our state. The Legislature continues to embarrass us in many ways with conversations that simply expose bigotry. That’s all you can call it.
That gives us all a black eye to most of the nation. And it makes companies not want to come here. No tech company is going to relocate to a place where they don’t think their employees – LGBTQ, racially and ethnically diverse, or non-Christian – will feel welcome.
Sioux Falls is open – to people from around the country, different parts of the globe, and for business.
That’s what the resolution shows.
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