Human Rights Commission proposal

Proposal did not go through in meeting, but will be considered

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A proposal to shrink the size of the Human Rights Commission did not go through City Council as an emergency Tuesday night, but it will still be considered.
As Channel 4 said Tuesday morning, councilman Matt Schellenberger wants to cut the commission from 20 to 11 members.

A lot of people have believed for a while that this is a plotted way of eliminating a controversial member.

There were a number of people who showed up to the commission meeting Thursday night and said they'll be at the next one, too.

People on both sides of the debate showed up and although they didn't vote on it last night as was expected, they still will at a later date.

An emergency proposal to vote on cutting the Human Rights Commission nearly in half has been suddenly dropped.

Councilman Matt Schellenbergis is the one pursuing the change, but said he is content letting the proposal take it's normal course through the city council.

Charlene Taylor Hill is the former director of the Human Rights Commission and doesn't understand why they are going through this process in the first place.

"I don't know why it was introduced," Hill said. "There is lots of speculation why it's been introduced and we are waiting to understand more of what is going on."

Many people thought Schellenberg's plan to have an emergency vote was a way of removing commission member Parvez Ahmed.

Ahmed went through a controversial appointment three years ago because of his Muslim faith and background.

"Have they looked at his attendance record? Has he been engaged? Has he done all the things a committee person should do?" Schellenberg asked. "That is what I will look after. I had a chance to review to see if this bill passes."
Schellenberg has firmly said removing Ahmed was not his goal. But Ahmed's supporters didn't buy that.

It's unclear if Ahmed will still have a hard time being appointed to the board for a second term with the new timeline.

Now that it didn't go through as an emergency and will take it's course through normal process, it could take about a month to go through the full council.

Before the City Council meeting, members of the Democratic party, the SCLS and NAACP were out front speaking against the legislation, saying it's hate legislation.

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