Donna Pandori

South Bend Councilman Oliver Davis Responds to Bilerico-Indiana

Filed By Donna Pandori | July 23, 2009 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Politics

South Bend Councilman Oliver Davis recently contacted me about a Bilerico post in which I questioned his support of equal rights for the GLBT community.

Council_ODavis.jpgMy post was in reflection to a WSBT story, Council members divided over Luecke's first executive order in which Oliver was quoted as saying:

Council Vice President Oliver Davis told WSBT he is still taking feedback from constituents in his district.

"I think the issue is not only to have the executive order put in, but also to get the buy-in from the community," Davis said.

He also said he's heard from constituents on both sides of the issue -- but more people are against the equal rights proposal than for it.

My original reflection on this is after the jump with the results of our conversation.

"Buy in from the community"? Does this mean he will oppose equal rights as long as the "majority" of his constituents tell him to do so? That seems rather unjust wouldn't you say?

Hmm. Apparently council member Oliver Davis, an Assistant Professor of Social Work and BSW Program Director at Andrews University, is either leading two separate lives or he doesn't embrace the philosophies in a Field Manual authored by the very department he works for at Andrews University.

After speaking extensively with Councilman Oliver Davis I must admit my reflection was not a fair assessment of his personal or professional character. During our conversation he clarified what he meant by "buy in from the community" and emphasized no matter what your position is on GLBT rights or any other issue "we are all neighbors" and "we are a community", "everyone needs equal protection". Oliver did not express his outright support or non-support of the Mayor's executive order but something he did say made a lot of sense:

I teach my social work students that no matter the cause you are advocating you need to develop a successful plan of action to address the various issues that you are facing... If my students advocate for an issue in class without developing a proactive approach they will not pass my class, even if I agree with the issue for to fight for an issue in an inappropriate manner may do more to hurt the cause than if they had remained silent.

In order to have long term lasting change there has to be a strategy in place to successfully secure a GLBT inclusive Human Rights Ordinanace in South Bend. This strategy, I believe, is the grass roots effort currently underway by Catherine Pitman and all the members of the South Bend Equality group.

Human Rights are not Special Rights.

The CCV of Indiana, who "lovingly oppose" human rights for the GLBT community, is running out of time. More and more citizens in South Bend are catching on to their deceitful tactics. If you live in District 6 please contact Councilman Oliver Davis (574.288.4523) and voice your support for an inclusive Human Rights Ordinance. If you do not live in District 6 find out who your councilmember is and do the same.

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