Jackson city council nondiscrimination ordinance vote next week

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More than 400 people tried to cram into the Jackson city council chambers at the meeting on January 24th.

"Over 80 people made comments, and only four of them were against," explains Cynthia Landrum. "We had listened to over two hours of citizen comments, largely in favor of this nondiscrimination ordinance."

To accommodate all those people, the council had to relocate to the Michigan theater to complete the meeting.

Vice mayor and councilmember Derek Dobies says those crowds illustrate the large backing the nondiscrimination ordinance has.

"I think that there's a lot of support, a lot of support from inside the city," he says.

The NDO narrowly escaped the first reading by a 4-3 vote, and councilmembers against the ordinance argue they want more time to look it over, and that there isn't discrimination in Jackson.

If passed, it will protect anyone from being refused business, fired from their job, or denied housing based on their sexuality.

That's why Carl Struble is fighting for it.

"Jackson needs and NDO," he says. "It would be a benefit to the city, and every resident, every school, every child, every working parent, everybody."

People across the city are mostly in favor of the NDO, if not they were largely indifferent.

Those who are raising their voices are businesses across Jackson.

Two of the cities largest businesses, Consumers Energy and Allegiance Health, have staked their support for the NDO, and tons of other businesses have followed suit.

Supporters tell me if it passes, it will improve the city for everyone.

"It makes me feel like Jackson will be a welcoming city," says Struble.

The vote will take place at the Jackson city council meeting on Tuesday, February 7th.