Equality and diversity is important for all of us, and if all of us are not seen under the same protections, then it’s not really equal, is it?
When I first was elected to city council, I was asked if I knew about the lack of workplace protections for LGBT employees in Omaha. I saw that it was unfair and immediately began to put together city ordinance to prevent employers from abusing their authority to fire someone solely based on their gender and sexual orientation. It seemed like it be an obvious, easy win.
It was not.
And it failed.
I can say I was naive at the time about the amount of vehemence and pushback it would receive. I had to take that loss, until I learned of stories that broke my heart. Local youth, in my district, had taken their own lives, unable to find help or ways to cope with the prejudices that came from the city. I was saddened and angered, and determined to not give up, but to push harder.
It took years, almost my entire first term in city council to get it done. With the work of so many activists helping to engage with city politics, it is a victory I still take pride in. Proud of making progress and making Omaha a safer place for everyone.
Everyone deserves to be happy as their truest self.