Dallas City Councilwoman Delia Jasso has sent a letter to members of North Texas’ state legislative delegation calling on them to address anti-LGBT employment discrimination and marriage equality in the upcoming session.
Jasso’s letter is dated Dec. 12 and was emailed to Dallas Voice on Monday, days after her possible opponent in next year’s municipal election, Councilman Scott Griggs, announced his plan to introduce pro-LGBT resolutions on the same two issues. But Jasso said her letter was written before she knew of Griggs’ resolutions and is the culmination of her work with the city’s LGBT Task Force, which she formed after taking office in 2009.
“I don’t want to discuss him or what his motives are,” Jasso said when asked about Griggs. “I want to discuss what I have done and what I have been doing since 2009.”
Jasso added that while she wants to ensure the wording is appropriate, she’ll support Griggs’ resolutions, including providing one of the five signatures needed to put them before the full council.
“I would support both issues,” she said. “They’ve been my issues since 2009.”
Jasso said she is unsure whether Griggs’ resolutions have enough votes to pass the council or whether Mayor Mike Rawlings will support them, but she thinks they’re a good idea.
“I think anytime you’re talking about equality, it’s definitely a good idea,” she said. “I’m one of those people that I press for what’s right.”
Jasso said although her LGBT Task Force has been working on both issues, it has not sought council resolutions because it was too soon prior to the 2011 legislative session and the group has had other priorities, including reviewing implementation if the city’s own nondiscrimination ordinance and working on LGBT diversity training for Dallas Fire-Rescue.
Jasso said she wrote her letter to lawmakers as a citizen and as a registered voter, not as a council member, because she didn’t want to presume to speak for all her constituents.
“I don’t know that all 85,000 people in my district would support what I’m trying to do,” she said. “I would need to get their support obviously, and it was certainly a much quicker and easier way to move this forward as a citizen — and certainly they all know that I am a council member.”
Jasso said she’s already gotten positive responses from some legislators who received the letter. Read it below.