GLAA renews call for increased budget for CCRB
Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, DC
P. O. Box 75265
Washington, D.C. 20013
April 17, 2000
The Honorable Harold Brazil
Committee on the Judiciary
441 4th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001
As your committee prepares to mark up the FY 2001 budgets for public safety agencies on April 19, we want to renew our call for a $350,000 increase over the Mayor’s request for the new Citizen Complaint Review Board and the Office of Citizen Complaint Review.
The most glaring problem with the Mayor’s budget proposal is its omission of any funding for mediation services. Legislation establishing the new CCRB envisioned an absolutely critical role for mediation; the more cases that can be resolved quickly through mediation, the lighter will be the burden on the investigators.
Ms. Mai Fernandez, who chairs the new CCRB, has asked that the bulk of the extra $350,000 she is requesting for FY 2001 be devoted for contract services, a category that would include mediation services. The Mayor’s budget allocates no money for mediators as part of the new agency’s permanent staff; financing mediation through contract services is the best way to give the agency the flexibility it needs.
As we have stated before, if the new agency develops a backlog at the outset because it is underfunded, it will be saddled with an albatross that will be difficult to shake off. This must not happen; too many people have dedicated too much time and energy into making this new system a success. Thank you for your consideration.
cc: The Honorable Anthony A. Williams
Carlene Cheatam, Office of the Public Advocate
ACLU/National Capital Area