Summarized by Eileen Bell
Orem worried over discrimination against non-LDS
Desert News 25Jan00 D4
By Frank Curreri: Deseret News staff writer
OREM, UTAH -- The City of Orem, Utah, plans on re-establishing its
Human Relations Commission. The plan follows complaints about
possible racism and religious discrimination in the Utah city.
Two city council members, Les Campbell and Mike Thompson,
brought the matter up at a recent council session. They both
say they received phone calls before the last election, slamming
a Catholic woman who was running for office. The caller said
that since Cynthia Herrera was not LDS, people should not
vote for her. The call came from another candidate. All council
members in Orem are active members of the LDS Church.
Another council candidate says her children have experienced
name-calling because they are black. Brother Campell says
he's aware of some anti-Hispanic feelings in the community.
"I know it's here and I know it's going to increase because there
are more and more people coming from other cultures. For the
most part, we do a good job. But we can do better or there will
be more of these confrontations."
The Orem Human Relations Commission was disbanded a few
years ago when the chairman could not find people to participate.
He also felt that the commission was not needed, and put in his
own resignation. Now, Brother Thompson says the commission's
time may have arrived. "We are predominantly LDS and we should
be held to a higher standard. My son's on a mission and we have
missionaries all over the world. We're trying to convert (others), and
what are we doing here? That doesn't make sense to me."