Showing Our Support for Joyce Clohosey of South Lyon.
Joyce Clohosey is a South Lyon community member, homeowner, volunteer and holds multiple degrees. She is a dedicated, tenacious and extremely capable woman who last year answered the call to serve her community by running for city council. Though she was not successful in November, when a current member vacated his seat due to a move out of the city, Joyce applied to be appointed to the seat. Since she had earned the next highest votes from the citizens of South Lyon when they voted in November, she believed her appointment to the city council was a natural choice.
Unfortunately, she was wrong.
During a publicly held city council meeting, Ms. Clohosey was ready to answer questions about her education, her work experience, her volunteer experiences or her thoughts or ideas about improving South Lyon. Instead, she was asked...
about her baby.
Councilman Richards asked "now, didn't you just have a baby?"
Ms. Clohosey answered that her "baby" was two years old and that she didn't see how that was relevant to her ability to serve in this part-time position through the city. She stated unequivocally that she would be able to meet the requirements of the position.
But instead, she was reduced down to her status as a mom.
Her abilities were called in to question based on her family status.
When this highly inappropriate, and illegal line of questioning was happening, no one, not even the Mayor who sat their chuckling, said anything to steer the interview questions to those of Ms. Clohosey's abilities to be a leader for their city.
Regardless of her abilities, availability and the will of the voters, the council voted 4-2 to appoint a man who hadn't even run for the seat.
Councilman Richards' apparent discriminatory views about women, especially young women who may or may not "have just had a baby" have led Ms. Clohosey to file a complaint with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. To ensure that this kind of blatant sexism and discrimination are taken seriously she is asking for two simple responses:
1) A public apology, to her and the whole community of South Lyon, for Councilman Richards' inappropriate and illegal comments regarding her family status, and failure of anyone else to act appropriately during this interview.
2) Discrimination training for the city council members to ensure that all future interactions between the council and the public remain non-discriminatory, and save the city of South Lyon from any future harm that discrimination lawsuits could bring.
She's not asking for money.
She's not asking that she be put in that seat.
She's asking that this situation be taken seriously, and that her representatives in her city be better.
That is not asking a lot.
I will be attending the next city council meeting in South Lyon on Monday evening to show support for Joyce.
I ask that you do the same.
#TimesUp on women being kept out of positions of power because they also happen to be mothers.
I hope you can join us.