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Norman Davis

City Civil Rights director Norman Davis said Madison should be able to adopt and enforce its own equal opportunity ordinances. 

In Madison, you're protected from employment discrimination based on gender identity, non-religion, homelessness, source of income, lack of a social security number, physical appearance, political beliefs, student status, domestic partners, citizenship, unemployment status and credit history.

But as this week’s top story at explained, there’s a bill in the legislature that, if passed, would eliminate all 12 of those protected classes.

Republicans argue the bill will make for more consistent employment laws across the state by prohibiting local municipalities from creating employment discrimination laws. But Democratic state Sen. Robert Wirch, D-Somers, said the bill would increase income inequality.

“This is one more example of big government Republicans who think they know better than duly elected local officials,” Wirch said.

Another top read this week was Erik Lorenzsonn’s cover story about evolving grocery store technology.

“If you look at the grocery industry, if you look a the regional chains, they’re family-run businesses. They’re maybe a little less prone to be progressive when it comes to technology,” Jeremy Neren, CEO of local startup GrocerKey, said in the article. “Now, you’re looking at changes in the industry where people now are a little more prone to take risks. There’s been a shift in the conversation.”

Also popular this week were a profile of a 23-year-old PhD, a comparison between the Middleton and Madison public markets and a Middleton restaurant dishing out family-style guacamole.

Here were the top 10 reads on from Sunday, Jan. 14 to Saturday, Jan. 20:

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