Community leaders urge Mayor to settle Hunter case
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Community leaders urge Mayor to settle Hunter case

1217 D Street, N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20002
May 26, 1999

The Honorable Anthony Williams
Mayor District of Columbia
1 Judiciary Square
441 4th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001

Dear Mayor Williams:

On behalf of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community, we want to express our disappointment and anger at your recent decision to support the Corporation Counsel's appeal of the verdict in the Tyra Hunter case.

During your campaign for mayor, we were impressed by your clear grasp of the issues and sentiments of our community. This was proven further by your inclusion in your transition and administration of gays and lesbians. However, this recent decision erodes the trust and confidence that we have placed in you.

A jury has returned a verdict ordering the city to pay $2.9 million in damages in the Tyra Hunter matter. Based on their assessment of the facts, they determined that the city was liable for her mistreatment and subsequent death. Mayor Williams, we are counting on you to support this decision made by District of Columbia residents. To do anything less, especially by the mayor would serve to undermine confidence in and support of the jury system.

Our community expects from its elected officials leadership on issues that affect our lives. For many years we have enjoyed the protections of the city's Human Rights Act. Under no circumstances will we accept the flawed interpretation by the Corporation Counsel about the applicability of the Human Rights Act in the Tyra Hunter case. You deserve better and more balanced information about the act and how it applies to this case. We call on you to meet with members of our community so that we can provide you with more accurate information.

As mayor you have the power to immediately put a halt to this matter. Once again, we call on you to enter into good-faith discussions with Margie Hunter's attorneys and reach a settlement.

Mayor Williams, the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community is looking to you for leadership on this issue. We hope that you will not disappoint us.

Sincerely,

Everett E. Hamilton, Jr.
President, The D.C. Coalition

Craig Howell
President, Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance

Lisa Stewart
Chair, Gay Men and Lesbians Opposing Violence

Paul G. Dionne
President, Capital Area Log Cabin

Earline Budd
Transgenders Against Discrimination and Defamation

Wanda Alston
Former Co-Chair, The D.C. Coalition

Barrett Brick

Darren S. Buckner
Former Co-Chair, The D.C. Coalition

Earl Fowlkes

Bradley Lewis
Former Co-Chair, The D.C. Coalition

Philip Pannell
Former D.C. Human Rights Commissioner

Richard J. Rosendall
Former President, Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance

Michael Sainte-Andress

Carl E. Schmid II

Bob Summersgill
Vice President, Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance

Jessica Xavier
Transgender Nation

cc: The Washington Blade
The Washington City Paper
The Washington Post
Gays and Lesbians Against Defamation and Discrimination


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