Letter: Thank you for speaking up for equality

Thank you to the Juneau Borough Assembly for the Special Assembly Committee of the Whole special meeting on Tuesday, June 21 for public testimony on Ordinance 2016-23. Thank you Deputy Mayor Jesse Kiehl for your strong leadership in putting this ordinance forward that will give everyone in Juneau the same protections to not be discriminated against at a place of employment, in securing and maintaining housing, or any place in-between. Thank you to Mayor Ken Koelsch for committing to support an anti-discrimination ordinance during your candidacy.

In many circles of Juneau respect for all people and not discriminating against anyone is commonplace. Unfortunately this not the experience for all residents of Juneau. Thank you to 29 courageous people that testified in support of the proposed non-discrimination ordinance. Providing personal testimony in this forum takes strength and to hear the unfortunate stories of discrimination that have happened and continue to happen in this community was sobering. I am grateful for your courage to put faces and names to the disrespect and unfairness that have been experienced here.

I strongly encourage the Assembly to unanimously pass Ordinance 2016-23. Discrimination is wrong and all residents of Juneau should be legally protected against it.

Steve SueWing,