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Hoffman joins Equal Rights Commission after initial city council rejection

Natalie Hoffman was denied on Sept. 19 by council, approved Tuesday by 8-4 vote.
Posted at 5:48 PM, May 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-08 18:48:28-04

GREEN BAY (NBC26) — Natalie Hoffman is now an official member of the Green Bay Equal Rights Commission. I spoke with her about how and why her name created a divide among city council members.

  • Video show clips from the Sept. 19 common council meeting where Natalie Hoffman was denied (6-4) joining the Equal Rights Commission.
  • Some council members expressed concern with Hoffman's affiliation with the Democratic Socialists of America. One alder told me reviewing appointees is rare.
  • Hoffman's appointment was on Tuesday's council agenda. After many comments from community and council members, Hoffman was approved (8-4).

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story.)

Back in September, mayor Eric Genrich recommended Hoffman to the Equal Rights Commission.

At that time, Hoffman said she is "a proud member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)."

"I just want to make sure this is a place that everyone who lives here is not only able to survive but thrive," Hoffman said.

The DSA is a political organization rooted in strong liberal beliefs, such as defunding the police

Her affiliation with DSA led to pushback from some council members, including District 11 Alderperson Melinda Eck.

Eck said she believes Hoffman will skew the choices made by the commission.

"I was just hoping for more of a well-balanced representation of the city of Green Bay," Eck said.

Hoffman's appointed was rejected last year, in a six to four vote.

"Well this is a sad day for the common council," Green Bay Mayor, Eric Genrich, said at September's meeting.

"You can hear one thing about me and make a decision on me or we can sit down and have a conversation and really get to the root on what is it that we really care about and what do we believe in," Hoffman said.

Hoffman's appointment was back on the agenda at Tuesday's common council meeting. Some community members spoke out against her.

Commission member Stephanie Guzman offered her support.

"She brings insight that we might not know because she's knocking on doors," Guzman said at the meeting.

District 2 alder Jim Hutchison was also in support.

"She's very much pro-citizen of Green Bay," Hutchison said.

This time, Hoffman was approved 8-4.

"Every single person should be empowered to represent their city," Hoffman said. "Just because of a little hold up or because some people don't like me, I don't want that to stop me."

Hoffman's first day as an Equal Rights Commission member will be Thursday when the commission meets.