Amberley Village passes non-discrimination resolution

Posted by Hollis Bass on Wednesday, August 16, 2017

In May, the Amberley Village Council passed a resolution committing the village to non-discrimination and recognizing the benefits of diversity. Vice mayor Natalie Wolf, a long-time Amberley Village WeTHRIVE! team member, proposed the legislation. We talked with her about the need for the resolution and what comes next.

picture of natalie wolf

Amberley is diverse in every way,” Natalie said. When a resident asked her whether the village would consider an anti-discrimination law, she was interested. “I kept meaning to look into it, but I never felt like the timing was right. And also, at the time we were progressing so quickly as a country that I felt like federal law was going to beat us to the punch.”

Last fall, however, Natalie began to pursue the resolution. At first, most people she talked with didn’t see a need for action. “They said, ‘we don’t discriminate in Amberley,’” Natalie added. “And we don’t, I agree with that.” But she feels strongly that changes need to take place at the local level, especially in Ohio, one of 28 states that leave LGBTQ people out of laws that make discrimination illegal.

The resolution passed unanimously, making Amberley the second village in the state to pass legislation (Yellow Springs was the first). Natalie is now working with Equality Ohio to draft a non-discrimination ordinance. “A resolution is kind of like ‘this is what we believe, this is our intent, this is how we feel,’” she explained. “The ordinance would make it illegal in Amberley Village to discriminate against anyone in housing, in commerce, in recreation, in employment…anywhere.”

Amberley would be the first smaller municipality in southern Ohio to pass such legislation. The city of Cincinnati has a non-discrimination law, and Natalie said Mt. Healthy is also working to pass one.

“We may be small,” Natalie said. “But Amberley is very, very diverse and we don’t want anyone to be excluded. And it seems especially imperative now…it’s important that all these changes take place at the local level.” 

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August 4, 2017