GLAA supports ACLU effort to monitor CCRB
[NOTE: Earlier in 1998, GLAA sent a similar letter to the Bridge Builders Fund in support of a grant request from ACLU/NCA for a project to monitor the Civilian Complaint Review Board, whose re-establishment was recently approved by the DC Council. That funding request was granted, and ACLU/NCA is now seeking additional funding for the project from the Cafritz Foundation.]
Thursday, October 29, 1998
The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation
1825 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006
Dear Ms. Allen:
The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington (GLAA), and I myself, have worked closely with the American Civil Liberties Union of the National Capital Area — and specifically with Mary Jane DeFrank — for many years on issues affecting the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community in Washington, DC. We hold the organization in the highest esteem and are happy to recommend them for funding.
As President of GLAA, I participated in a Task Force with Mary Jane DeFrank that worked to address and resolve diversity issues within the police and fire departments in the District of Columbia. The level of homophobia and mistreatment that has been allowed to exist in those departments appalled us and served to undermine the community trust which is vital to the effectiveness of these public safety agencies. The ACLU/NCA set the standards for action that many coalitions in this field have followed. Through their leadership, many accomplishments have been made to advance the equal rights of sexual minorities in Washington. Ms. DeFrank's personal commitment and sensitivity to gay issues is exceptional, and we are so grateful to have her as an ally that we presented her with a Distinguished Service Award at our twenty-fourth anniversary celebration in April, 1995.
We are very excited that the ACLU/NCA has decided to take on this ambitious project of creating a coalition to monitor police misconduct investigations. It is vital that effective controls are established to reinforce the new Civilian Complaint Review Board, so that all the careful work that has been done by GLAA, ACLU/NCA, NAACP-DC and others to craft the enabling legislation will not have been a fruitless exercise. This is a major public safety concern. I urge you to fund this project.
Richard J. Rosendall
Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, DC