Schwartz writes to Mayor on OHR,
March 6, 1997
The Honorable Marion Barry, Jr.
441 4th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
As we discussed previously at your Birthday party, I would like you to consider reestablishing the Office of Human Rights as a cabinet-level agency. I strongly believe that its present status as a truncated part of the Department of Human Rights and Minority Business Development is hampering its ability to operate effectively. I also believe that the idea currently being circulated to move it into the Office of Personnel would have an even more detrimental effect on the investigators' ability to carry out their mission.
Restoring the independent and elevated status of the Office of Human Rights would send a strong signal about the importance of the work carried out by that agency. I hope you will give this matter your serious consideration and I will look forward to your favorable reply.
The Honorable Carol Schwartz
John A. Wilson Building
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20004
Dear Councilmember Schwartz:
This is in response to your letter dated March 6, 1997, requesting the reestablishment of the Office of Human Rights (OHR) as a cabinet-level agency. We are in agreement that, based on its mission, the OHR deserves appropriate elevation.
In his testimony on February 26, 1997, before the Committee on Government Operations, on the Fiscal Year 1996 and Fiscal Year 1997 Budget Implementation, Larry A. King, Deputy City Administrator for Public Management, stated that the Executive would be transmitting an amended Public Management Reorganization Plan that realigns the functions of the OHR and establishes it as a distinct entity within the Public Management business.
The amended plan acknowledges our recognition of the critically important work performed by the OHR and moves to reposition it within Public Management as a way to strengthen and enhance the human rights function.
Thank you in advance for your support of this and, hopefully, additional features of the Public Management Reorganization Plan, which I view as a key step toward improving our government.
If you have any further questions regarding this matter, please feel free to contact me on (202) 727-2980. I look forward to working with you and your staff as we move forward with the transformation of the District government.
Marion Barry, Jr.