Council approves Omaha mayor’s nondiscrimination resolution

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Omaha City Council has passed a resolution brought by newly-reelected Mayor Jean Stothert that condemns discrimination and hate and calls for Omaha leaders to be committed to diversity, equity and inclusion.

The resolution is largely symbolic, as it enacted no policy changes. The resolution drew praise, the Omaha World-Herald reported, but also some criticism from those who said city leaders need to do more than offer lip service to combating discrimination.

Lorraine Chang with the Nebraska Asian American Leadership Alliance supported the resolution, especially as the country has seen a sharp rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

“While it’s definitely laudable to state that hate will not be tolerated, words are not enough,” Chang said. “What actions can we take so that these words don’t ring hollow?”

Stothert said her administration has already taken actionable steps, including the hiring of Keith Station last summer as the city’s newly-created role of diversity, equity and inclusion officer. Additional diversity and inclusion training is also being required for city employees, and the city has created two boards of community members and city employees who are developing plans to foster a culture of inclusion in city government, she said.