Based on questions received by the city over the past several days, an online petition is apparently causing confusion about an ordinance that Charleston City Council will consider during their meeting tomorrow night.
The ordinance, which would create a Human Affairs and Racial Conciliation Commission (HARCC), was developed through a series of discussions among several council members and the mayor's office. Under the direction of the mayor and City Council, the HARCC would examine city policies and practices in the context of race and diversity, with the goal of ensuring fairness, opportunity and justice for all citizens. It passed first reading 8-4 at Council’s December 21, 2021 meeting.
The online petition incorrectly claims that the ordinance is designed to defund the police, pay out cash reparations and impose critical race theory on Charleston's public schools.
In response, Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said, "Obviously, neither I nor City Council would ever support anything like that. In fact, I've increased, not decreased, the police budget every year I've been mayor. I've supported affordable housing and minority business opportunities, not cash reparations. And like most 1960s music fans, I know a lot more about CCR than CRT, but wouldn't impose either one on our school kids. Long story short, Council won't be voting on any of those issues Tuesday night, and the claims in the petition are false."
The ordinance up for consideration tomorrow night can be read in full here.