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Green Bay citizen speaks out after getting denied to serve on city commission

The city council voted to oppose appointing Natalie Hoffman to the Equal Rights Commission during its Sept. 19 meeting
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Posted at 6:15 PM, Oct 03, 2023
  • A Green Bay citizen, Natalie Hoffman, is speaking out after the city council recently denied appointing her to the city's Equal Rights Commission
  • Hoffman told the council that she is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America
  • Ultimately, the council voted 6-4 opposing Hoffman's appointment
  • The video above explains why one alderman says she denied appointing Hoffman to the commission

GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — A Green Bay citizen is speaking out after the city council recently denied appointing her to the city's Equal Rights Commission.

"I think it was unfair that they said that I can't serve the city because I belong to a group," Natalie Hoffman said.

The ERC says its mission is to make Green Bay more inclusive for everyone.

"Every, single person deserves to have a voice," Hoffman said. "And I just want to make sure that people who don't have a voice, necessarily, I want to be able to stand up for people like that."

Two weeks ago, Hoffman was hoping to become the commission's newest member. She told the council that she is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America.

"What I believe in is that everyone deserves to have their basic needs met," Hoffman said.

The DSA is a large political organization with a variety of left-wing platforms, including defunding the police while annually cutting police budgets to zero.

Hoffman said she has no comment on that issue, and says there can be additional investments made to public safety, including mental health resources.

"I just don't see how any of the stances of DSA's platform are relevant to my potential of being on the Equal Rights Commission," Hoffman said.

At the previous council meeting on Sept. 19, some alders questioned her beliefs.

"Do you support repealing local sex trade ordinances?," District 1 Alderman Jennifer Grant asked Hoffman at the meeting.

"I do not feel educated enough to give you a full answer on that, so that is something that I am absolutely going to look into," Hoffman responded.

"Do you believe then the extension of voting rights to non-citizens?," District 8 Alderman Chris Wery asked Hoffman at the meeting.

"Yes, they are members of our community," Hoffman responded.

"I just was honestly taken by surprise," Hoffman said.

"I prefer to give people a chance to clarify," Grant said. "I had some concerns and questions about it."

Ultimately, the council voted 6-4 opposing Hoffman's appointment.

Grant said she opposed bringing Hoffman to the commission because she was worried about Hoffman's response to appealing local sex trade ordinances.

"We take a lot of recommendations and guidance from our commissions," Grant said. "And it's very important to us. And we want those recommendations and guidance to go along with the good things that we're doing for our city."

Grant said she was aware Hoffman was a candidate for the ERC. She said council members got Hoffman's resume the day of the potential appointment.

The ERC has a capacity of 10 members, including nine Green Bay citizens and one alder. There are currently two openings on the commission.