To: Carol DiJoseph, Commission President

Civil Rights for ALL in Abington, PA

In signing on to this statement, we agree that it is in the best interest of the Township of Abington to pass an ordinance banning discrimination in public accommodation, housing, and employment based on actual or perceived race, color, sex, religion, ancestry, genetic information, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, familial status, marital status, age, veteran status, mental or physical disability, use of guide or support animals and/or mechanical aids. An ordinance should also create a Human Relations Commission composed of volunteers appointed by the township to enforce the law. A local ordinance should ensure that complaints are dealt with in timely manner on the local level. We support the passage of the ordinance because it sends a clear message to residents, workers, and visitors that Abington is a township that is welcoming to all.

Why is this important?

On January 13, 2011, The Abington Township Board of Commissioners made history by voting down a Non-discrimination Ordinance. For the first time in Pennsylvania, a suburban municipality failed to pass a civil rights law. The ordinance would have protected all people who live, work, or conduct business in Abington. By a vote of 10 against (Commissioners John Carlin, Carol DiJoseph, Carol Gillespie, Wayne Luker, Bill Lynott, Peggy Meyers, James Ring, Robert Wachter, and Dennis Zappone) to 5 in favor (Commissioners Ernie Peacock, Les Benzak, Michael O’Connor, Steven Kline and Lori Schreiber), the audience was tearful as the ordinance failed to pass. Please become a civil rights champion to ensure that everyone in Abington is protected against housing, employment, and public accommodation (e.g. being served in a restaurant) discrimination. Our township's reputation, property values, educational system, children's safety, and citizenry are at stake. We're all in this together!