McLean County Board Member Seeks Anti-Discrimination Policy | WGLT

McLean County Board Member Seeks Anti-Discrimination Policy

Jun 10, 2020

McLean County Board member Josh Barnett said the recent calls for racial justice are a reminder that the county must have its own house in order.

The Bloomington Republican is calling on the county board to adopt an anti-discrimination policy.

“There’s an unprecedented movement going on across our country right now, the likes of which we have not seen for decades probably since the late '60s,” Barnett said. “I wanted to make sure that public funds that we have and are entrusted with from our taxpayers are not being used by people we would not want to do business with.”

Barnett said he’s not seen any evidence of discriminatory practices in county government, or from any of its vendors. He said there's already some anti-discriminatory language in the county code, but he wants a broader policy to make it more clear.

“If you discriminate against African Americans, if you discriminate against folks of the Jewish faith, if you discriminate against lesbians or transgendered or any number of other qualifiers that are out there, we don’t want to do business with you. Don’t even come knocking,” he said.

Barnett said county staff is developing a framework for the policy that may include looking at ways it can investigate discrimination among vendors and organizations that do business with the county. He said it could possibly be managed on a complaint basis or an annual review of each county contract.

Barnett said the Illinois Human Rights Commission could serve as a blueprint for crafting the policy.

He expects the County Board will consider the policy at its July meeting. 

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