DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Durham city leaders say they have been flooded this week with emails from residents demanding the city take action against House Bill 2.
“We’re asking the city council put this to a public conversation,” said Rodrigo Dorfman.
Dorfman was just one of about 100 people who emailed Durham City Leaders asking them to stand up against the bill.
He says Durham needs to stand up for its people.
“A lot of times we’re told to be quiet because a law is passed and that’s it. And I think it’s our duty to find the agency, to find the power, and find the community to step up and say no and say, ‘No, we don’t believe in this law, and we must fight it,'” said Dorfman.
The campaign is calling for the city to pass its own anti-discrimination law similar to the one Charlotte passed in the lead-up to HB2.
But city officials say the problem is that state government has the right to prevent local municipalities from acting on their own.
“Cities and counties are subdivisions of the state we can enact ordinances all day long but if they don’t conform to state law and federal law then they have no force we can’t enforce them and we can’t defend them in court,” said Don Moffitt, a Durham City Council Member.
He says the city of Durham came out immediately calling for HB2’s repeal, and says they still want the bill off the books, but the power to make that decision lies with the state legislature.
“I’m frustrated on their behalf, because I know these are bigger issues that we can solve here in Durham,” he said. “And that’s why I’m calling on everyone who cares about these issues to become involved statewide”.
And people calling for action say enforcement power or not, they want their city to consider making a change – and plan to attend the next city council meeting