Monday July 30, 2018
Berks County needs to protect the civil rights of LGBT community.
While it was regrettable to read in the Reading Eagle that Paul Fredrick will move its headquarters from Fleetwood to the county of Baltimore, Md. ("Paul Fredrick moving away from Fleetwood," July 25), it was no surprise to me. Notice that both Baltimore County officials and company executives spoke of attracting talent in the decision to relocate operations. In today's business climate, companies often consider the ability to attract talent as one of the most important factors when deciding where to locate. This translates into their insistence on communities that are LGBT-friendly and protect the civil rights of LGBT people as places they want to and will locate their businesses.
Baltimore County protects the civil rights of LGBT people and adjacent Baltimore is considered in the top five LGBT-friendliest cities in this nation. Berks County does not provide any civil rights protection to LGBT people. The lesson is simple. If Berks wants to compete successfully for business and economic development in the 21st century, then being LGBT-friendly and protective of civil rights is the way to go. Treating LGBT people fairly and welcoming them warmly costs nothing and would change Berks County's brand for the better while creating quantifiable and long-term economic benefits.
Loss of Paul Fredrick shows need for respect