Where DC Councilmembers Stand on OHR Priority for Complaints from the Seriously Ill
[The following are the signed answers given by current DC Councilmembers on the question of codifying the former practice of the Office of Human Rights in giving top priority to discrimination complaints filed by people with AIDS or other major life-threatening diseases.]
Responses to GLAA 2000 Council Questionnaire
Question 12. Will you support legislation that will codify OHR's former practice of giving top priority to discrimination complaints filed by people with AIDS or other major life- threatening diseases?
Carol Schwartz (At-Large):
Yes. People who are facing terminal illness cannot wait - nor should they wait - for cases that they have brought to the OHR's attention to be investigated and concluded.
Harold Brazil (At-Large):
Yes. People with AIDS or other serious life-threatening illnesses should not have to wait long for OHR decisions. It is appropriate to give priority to such cases.
Jack Evans (Ward 2):
Yes. As I have said in the past, it is important to give automatic priority to complaints involving allegations of HIV or AIDS related discrimination. While this is currently the practice of OHR, codifying this priority via legislation is a wise step and I will gladly join this effort.
I would also like to note at this point that I am not aware if there has been a response to GLAA's request in March that the Mayor issue an executive order that would reiterate the District government's commitment to the Human Rights Act of 1977. Given the recent troubling signs of this law being overlooked, it is most important we again stress this law's inclusion in government exercises ranging from the issuance of contracts to the drafting of regulations. If needed, I am ready to work with GLAA to ensure this order is issued and, more importantly, its directives followed by government agencies.
Adrian Fenty (Ward 4):
Kevin Chavous (Ward 7):
[Did not respond to GLAA questionnaire.]
Sandy Allen (Ward 8):
Yes, I have always been in favor of giving top priority to discrimination complaints filed by people with AIDS or other major life-threatening diseases. If the legislation would pass legal muster, then I would support it.
Responses to GLAA 1998 Council Questionnaire
Question 14. Will you support legislation codifying OHR's current practice of granting top priority to discrimination complaints from those afflicted with AIDS or other life-shortening conditions?
Linda Cropp (Council Chair):
OHR is operating under a written policy, a 1986 OHR Director's order, which gives priority to complaints from persons with AIDS and other life-shortening conditions. I believe OHR has satisfactorily operated under this order and am not aware of any problems in processing such complaints. Although I generally do not believe it is in the best interest of the District to legislate where it is not necessary, I would consider such legislation.
David Catania (At-Large):
Yes. It would be a miscarriage of justice to deny someone with a life-shortening condition priority within the OHR system.
Phil Mendelson (At-Large):
If there weren't the backlog, such triage might be unnecessary. But it is necessary, so I will support such legislation.
Jim Graham (Ward 1):
Yes. I am not about to turn my back on people with AIDS or other life threatening conditions should I be elected to represent the residents of Ward One as a member of the City Council. Not only will I support such legislation, I will introduce it.
Kathy Patterson (Ward 3):
I support the priority given to complaints from individuals with AIDS and other life-threatening conditions. Because that is a matter of current practice and strong consensus, I am not certain that legislation is necessary. I believe the Council tends to pass new laws rather more often than necessary on a range of issues, so I do have an ongoing hesitation to legislate where strong community consensus has resulted in sound practice. I also would not wish to place legislation before the Congress that could put a current strongly-supported policy at risk. Should any future OHR not provide this priority, I would certainly - and quickly - introduce legislation to mandate the priority.
Vincent Orange (Ward 5):
[Did not respond to GLAA questionnaire.]
Sharon Ambrose (Ward 6):
Yes, I will be pleased to introduce legislation codifying the need to grant priority to persons with Aids and other clearly life threatening health conditions in respect tot he resolution of claims. In the case of terminally ill persons, justice delayed is obviously justice denied.