A new group in Pocatello is looking to keep the Gate Gity's nondiscrimination ordinance in place by encouraging voters to vote "no" on the proposition on May's ballot.
A “no” vote means you are in favor of keeping the ordinance, while a “yes” vote on the ballot means you want to repeal it.
The group is called Fair Pocatello, and it is keeping it old school with volunteers making phone calls, going door to door and encouraging people to get out and vote.
"This organization came together to make sure we could keep the ordinance," said James Ruchti, co-chair of Fair Pocatello.
The organization was formed after a petition caused the nondiscrimination ordinance to be put on the May 20 primary ballot.
"If this ordinance gets repealed, it shows what our values are,” Ruchti said. “So we have to fight hard to keep the ordinance."
Ruchti, who said his sister is a lesbian, said while he was campaigning for his previous position as state legislator, he met many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community members. He said that's when he found out a lot about the diverse group of people.
"I found out that they pay taxes, they hold down jobs, they raise kids,” he said. “Really, they do everything that everybody else does in this community, and as long as you are trying to be a good citizen, you should be treated fairly."
He says it's not right that the LGBT community can be denied housing, a promotion or a job in the first place, simply because of sexual orientation or gender identity.
"Whether you're sending your kid to Idaho State University from Oregon or from Cedar St. here in Pocatello, you should be able to feel confident that they will be treated fairly when it comes to housing and employment in this community" Ruchti said.
His fellow co-chair, Brenda Stanley, helped create a video on the subject that has been circulating Facebook. It is the first of many videos about the issue.
"We think that everybody should be treated the way they want to be treated," Ruchti said. "It's just fair."
Early voting is already happening. You can go to the Bannock County Courthouse during regular business hours to vote early. You are not required to affiliate with any party, as the proposition is a non-partisan ballot measure. The elections office is where the Department of Motor Vehicles office was located, on the first floor while entering from 6th Street.