As BTL continues the Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination series, we hear from Highland Park Mayor Hubert Yopp who was sworn in on Jan. 1, 2016 for a second non-consecutive four-year term. Yopp has a varied background of experience with over 40 years in the operation and administration of local government, serving in various positions in Highland Park, including Highland Park Police and Fire Manager for 31 years and Highland Park City Council for four years.
Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination is a bipartisan coalition of municipal leaders dedicated to securing inclusive non-discrimination protections for all, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, at all levels of government. It is a program of Freedom for All Americans, the bipartisan campaign to win comprehensive LGBT non-discrimination protections nationwide. Since its inception, membership in Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination has grown to 307 mayors in 48 states and the District of Columbia, including 17 mayors in Michigan.
Why did you join Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination?
Because I believe in fairness, equality, and the constitution. I served this country 71/2 years in the US Army, and in a combat zone, fighting for our rights.
How does your city promote fairness, diversity and inclusion, and why is that important?
Everyone is equal regardless of color, race or make up. If you qualify and meet the requirements, you are selected or included. It’s the only way, this is why men like Dr. M.L. King gave their lives.
As mayor, what role do you play in challenging discrimination, and making your city more inclusive?
It is my sworn duty to protect people from discrimination, harm, danger or hazards. I believe in constitutional rights, God given rights for all.
How do you ensure that your city’s objectives are consistently reflected in the actions of municipal employees?
I have sensitivity training, staff meetings where this topic is discussed (respect for others) and Human Resources put on training sessions regarding this, all employees.
Where does your city need to improve?
Resources – we’re coming out of Emergency Financial Manager, now in Neutral Evaluation.
I see a model city, a better quality of life, a beautiful place to live, restaurants, bowling alleys, movie theaters, parks for families to walk and play, shopping areas, social events and more.
Connect with Mayor Hubert Yopp online at highlandparkmi.gov/Home.aspx or on Facebook at facebook.com/The-City-Of-Highland-Park-229397086396/.