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UPDATE: Council votes for ‘A Community for All’ resolution to go back to committee

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Community for all

UPDATE: The Wausau City Council voted in favor of sending the 'A Community for All Resolution' back to the Economic Development Committee.

One member of the city council says they are being asked to vote on a document that was not created by them. The resolution was previously voted on by the Marathon County Board of Supervisors.

"The county struggled with this issue for over a year, and they could not find common ground," said Lisa Rasmussen who is the seventh district alderperson. "In a matter of weeks, we have picked up a document that they failed to approve."

Rasmussen said the decision upon the council needs to reflect the majority of public opinion in each district.

"We are elected to non-partisan office for a reason...sometimes we have to make a vote in spite of ourselves, and that's not easy to do."

"We have proclaimed it as true from the front steps of this building...and now we are here asked to vote on it," said Rasmussen. "That document is not our document. That's the Diversity of Affairs Commission's document...while some of us may agree with the sentiment, those are not our words."

Rasmussen said if the city council wants to do it right, they should form a statement that they create, without adapting someone else's product.

"What we have in front of us tonight is not ready for prime time, it needs work," said Rasmussen. "Here come these documents speeding into the committee, and we didn't even have time to go out and talk to our residents and see what that majority really wanted."

Rasmussen adding that resolutions do "nothing to change people's behavior" as it isn't enforceable.

"It does an awful lot though, to pour gas on fires of division that we already have in our city," said Rasmussen. "The community is as divided as the rest of the country...some of this stuff needs to be addressed at the state and federal level."

The motion to refer it back passed six to five, with the goal now to craft an original statement, not in the form of a resolution.

“If we would take a similar statement to what the chamber adopted, and add things to it like statements about quality of life and belonging and what it means to be included in your society...I think we need to create such a statement, because I think what we have here isn’t a the product we want to stand behind," said Rasmussen.

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW)-- City leaders are meeting on Tuesday at 6:30 to discuss the 'Community for All' resolution.

The resolution is identical to the one that caused controversy in Marathon County and will be voted on Tuesday night.

Committee members say it will have a big impact in Wausau.

"What that does for marginalized populations, it reaffirms the city and county's commitment to those populations saying we want you here, we welcome you, we accept you, and we embrace you for who you are," Wausau Diversity Affairs Committee member La' Tanya Campbell said.

Campbell argues if the resolution is not passed it could send a hurtful message to members of the community.

"It gives the messaging to marginalized populations that they're indeed not welcome here, not wanted here, and that they might have to make some decisions for themselves as if they want to be here," Campbell said.

Campbell said that many that are against the resolution don't fully understand what it aims to do.

"There's some misconception about property right and ownership and choice or not choice. That has nothing to do with the resolution but there's bee some opposition in regards to those things," Campbell explained.

She reiterated that the goal was simply to show that Wausau is a diverse and welcoming community to all.

This is a developing story. Stay with News Nine for updates.

Brittany Slaughter

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