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Commissioners Alter Discrimination Ordinance Language, Restart Approval Process

After making minor changes to language in a discrimination ordinance originally presented in March, Buncombe County Commissioners restarted the process of approving the ordinance. Due to state law, Commissioners have to read the ordinance twice before voting to make it countywide policy. That process started during Commissioners’ meeting on April 6.

The ordinance defines discrimination as any difference in treatment based on race, natural hair or hairstyles, ethnicity, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin or ancestry, marital or familial status, pregnancy, veteran status, religious belief or non-belief, age, or disability. This measure is aimed at bolstering the County’s commitment to equity, a major pillar of its 2025 Strategic Plan, and you can read the resolution here.

What does equity mean?
Buncombe County defines equity as creating a culture where we illuminate disparities and ensure just and fair inclusion where all can participate and prosper. The Board of Commissioners, via its work on the 2025 Strategic Plan, define equity as systems, policies, and practices that support equity for all people, and an organizational culture that embraces diversity and inclusion.

What happens next?
Commissioners will reread and hold public comment on the ordinance during their next meeting on Tuesday, April 20. 

On Thursday, April 15, from 12:30-1:30 p.m., join Buncombe County Commissioners Amanda Edwards, Parker Sloan, and Jasmine Beach-Ferrara for a virtual community conversation about the proposed Buncombe County nondiscrimination ordinance (NDO).

This conversation is open to all and will provide background and context about the ordinance. There will be time for discussion and questions. 
You can register here.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.