GLAA obtains Fire/EMS diversity training materials through FOIA request
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GLAA on Public Safety

GLAA obtains Fire/EMS diversity training materials through FOIA request

[Note: On April 5, 2004, GLAA officers Bob Summersgill and Rick Rosendall met with D.C. Fire Chief Adrian Thompson and Fire/EMS EEO coordinator Fredreika Smith, along with activists Toni Collins, Brad Lewis, and Cartwright Moore, and Wanda Alston, Special Assistant to the Mayor for GLBT Affairs. Summersgill requested copies of the Department's diversity training manuals, which GLAA has been requesting without success for several years. When Ms. Smith again refused, Summersgill presented Chief Thompson with a letter formally requesting the materials under the Freedom of Information Act.

[After the series of exchanges below, Bob Summersgill obtained copies of the Fire/EMS diversity training manuals on the morning of April 9, 2004. As Bob reports, "The student manual is not too long, but the instructor's manual is 4.25 inches thick in three parts." GLAA is now reviewing the training materials. We are grateful to Corporation Counsel Robert Spagnoletti, several D.C. Council members, and the Executive Office of the Mayor for their help in obtaining release of the materials.]

Correspondence on this page:
  1. GLAA FOIA Request to Fire/EMS
  2. GLAA to Corporation Counsel, Mayor, and D.C. Councilmembers
  3. Councilmember Catania to Fire/EMS
  4. Corporation Counsel Spagnoletti to GLAA
  5. Councilmember Fenty to Corporation Counsel Spagnoletti
  6. Councilmember Fenty to Fire/EMS
  7. Councilmember Schwartz to Chief Thompson
  8. Councilmember Graham to Corporation Counsel Spagnoletti
  9. Office of Corporation Counsel to D.C. Councilmembers
  10. Executive Office of the Mayor to GLAA


GLAA FOIA Request to Fire/EMS

Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C.
P.O. Box 75265
Washington, D.C. 20013
202-667-5139

April 5, 2004

Chief Adrian Thompson
Fire and Emergency Medical Services
1923 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 201
Washington, D.C. 20001

Dear Chief Thompson:

Pursuant to D.C. Code Section 2-536 “Information which must be made public,” from the District of Columbia “Freedom of Information Amendment Act of 2000,” effective April 27, 2001, I request both the Instructor and Student Manuals for the Tyra Hunter Human Diversity Training Series, parts I, II and III.

For your convenience, the relevant sections of D.C. Code are attached. Without a doubt, the Instructor and Student Manuals for the Tyra Hunter Human Diversity Training Series, parts I, II and III fall within the definition of “Administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff that affect a member of the public.”

Additionally, these manuals will need to be made available on the internet, with all due haste.

Copies of the manuals may be sent to me in care of the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C.

Sincerely,

Bob Summersgill
Treasurer

Cc: Mayor Anthony Williams
All D.C. Councilmembers
Robert Spagnoletti, Corporation Counsel
Wanda Alston, Special Assistant to the Mayor for GLBT Affairs


DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OFFICIAL CODE 2001 EDITION
DIVISION I. GOVERNMENT OF DISTRICT.
TITLE 2. GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION.
CHAPTER 5. ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE.
SUBCHAPTER II. FREEDOM OF INFORMATION.
§ 2-536. Information which must be made public.

(a) Without limiting the meaning of other sections of this subchapter, the following categories of information are specifically made public information, and do not require a written request for information:

(1) The names, salaries, title, and dates of employment of all employees and officers of a public body;
(2) Administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff that affect a member of the public;

(b) For records created on or after November 1, 2001, each public body shall make records available on the Internet or, if a website has not been established by the public body, by other electronic means. This subsection is intended to apply only to information that must be made public pursuant to this subsection.

§ 2-531. Public policy.

The public policy of the District of Columbia is that all persons are entitled to full and complete information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of those who represent them as public officials and employees. To that end, provisions of this subchapter shall be construed with the view toward expansion of public access and the minimization of costs and time delays to persons requesting information.



GLAA to Corporation Counsel, Mayor, and D.C. Councilmembers

From: Bob Summersgill
To: Bob Spagnoletti; Anthony Williams; Sandy Allen; Sharon Ambrose; Harold Brazil; David Catania; Kevin Chavous; Linda Cropp; Jack Evans; Adrian Fenty; Jim Graham; Phil Mendelson; Vincent Orange; Kathy Patterson; Carol Schwartz
Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2004 1:57 PM
Subject: Fire/EMS refuses to provide diversity training materials.

At a meeting with Fire Chief Adrian Thompson on April 5, 2004, EEO coordinator Fredreika Smith once again refused to provide copies of the diversity training materials to GLAA and other community representatives. Ms. Smith stated "I will not prove that unless I am told to." I then handed Chief Thompson this FOIA request.

We do not know what the Fire/EMS Department is attempting to hide, but their refusal to show us either the trainings or the training materials leads us to believe that they are not conducting diversity training that would help avoid future violations of the D.C. Human Rights Act. A suggestion that the Office of Human Rights would be available to assist in explaining the law was sharply rebuked by Ms. Smith.

Your assistance in making these public documents available to the public would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

-Bob Summersgill



Councilmember Catania to Fire/EMS

From: David Catania
To: Bob Summersgill; Robert Spagnoletti (OCC); Anthony Williams; Sandra Allen; Sharon Ambrose; Harold Brazil; Kevin Chavous; Linda Cropp; Jack Evans; Adrian Fenty; Jim Graham; Phil Mendelson; Vincent Orange; Kathleen Patterson; Carol Schwartz; Fredreika Smith (FEMS)
Subject: RE: Fire/EMS refuses to provide diversity training materials.
Date: Tue, 6 Apr 2004 15:47:31 -0400

Dear Ms. Smith

I would appreciate a copy of your Department's diversity training materials at your earliest convenience. Please forward the materials to my Council office in the Wilson Building. Thank you in advance for your responsiveness.

Warm regards,
David Catania



Corporation Counsel Spagnoletti to GLAA

From: Robert Spagnoletti (OCC)
To: Bob Summersgill; Anthony Williams; Sandra Allen; Sharon Ambrose; Harold Brazil; David Catania; Kevin Chavous; Linda Cropp; Jack Evans; Adrian Fenty; Jim Graham; Phil Mendelson; Vincent Orange; Kathleen Patterson; Carol Schwartz
Subject: RE: Fire/EMS refuses to provide diversity training materials.
Date: Wed, 7 Apr 2004 08:28:43 -0400

Thanks, Bob, for including me on this e-mail. I've asked Tarifah Coaxum, OCC's FOIA Officer, and Darryl Gorman, Senior Counsel for Agencies and Legislation to consult with Fire/EMS on their FOIA responsibilities. We'll be back in touch shortly.

Bob Spagnoletti



Councilmember Fenty to Corporation Counsel Spagnoletti

From: Adrian Fenty
To: Robert Spagnoletti (OCC); Bob Summersgill; Anthony Williams; Sandra Allen; Sharon Ambrose; Harold Brazil; David Catania; Kevin Chavous; Linda Cropp; Jack Evans; Jim Graham; Phil Mendelson; Vincent Orange; Kathleen Patterson; Carol Schwartz
Subject: RE: Fire/EMS refuses to provide diversity training materials.
Date: Wed, 7 Apr 2004 09:06:45 -0400

Thanks Corporation Counsel Spagnoletti.

A. Fenty



Councilmember Fenty to Fire/EMS

From: Adrian Fenty
To: David Catania; Bob Summersgill; Robert Spagnoletti (OCC); Anthony Williams; Sandra Allen; Sharon Ambrose; Harold Brazil; Kevin Chavous; Linda Cropp; Jack Evans; Jim Graham; Phil Mendelson; Vincent Orange; Kathleen Patterson; Carol Schwartz; Fredreika Smith (FEMS)
Subject: RE: Fire/EMS refuses to provide diversity training materials.
Date: Wed, 7 Apr 2004 08:49:30 -0400

By copy of this email I second Councilmember Catania's request for immediate transmittal of this information.

Adrian Fenty



Councilmember Schwartz to Chief Thompson

From: Carol Schwartz
To: Adrian Thompson (FEMS)
CC: Bob Summersgill; Alan Etter (FEMS); Deborah West (FEMS)
Subject: FW: Fire/EMS refuses to provide diversity training materials.
Date: Wed, 7 Apr 2004 10:11:26 -0400

Dear Chief Thompson,

I strongly urge you to instruct your staff to provide copies of the Fire Department's diversity training materials to Mr. Bob Summersgill of the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance without further delay.

I look forward to your prompt and favorable response to this e-mail.

Sincerely,

Carol Schwartz
Councilmember, At-Large



Councilmember Graham to Corporation Counsel Spagnoletti

From: Jim Graham
To: Robert Spagnoletti (OCC); Bob Summersgill; Anthony Williams; Sandra Allen; Sharon Ambrose; Harold Brazil; David Catania; Kevin Chavous; Linda Cropp; Jack Evans; Adrian Fenty; Phil Mendelson; Vincent Orange; Kathleen Patterson; Carol Schwartz
Subject: RE: Fire/EMS refuses to provide diversity training materials.
Date: Wed, 7 Apr 2004 08:37:43 -0400

Bob: thanks so much for this good response.

Bests Jim



Office of Corporation Counsel to D.C. Councilmembers

From: Darryl Gorman (OCC)
Sent: Wednesday, April 07, 2004 10:25 AM
To: Sandra Allen; Sharon Ambrose; Harold Brazil; David Catania; Kevin Chavous; Linda Cropp; Jack Evans; Adrian Fenty; Jim Graham; Phil Mendelson; Vincent Orange; Kathleen Patterson; Carol Schwartz; Anthony A. Williams (EOM); Wanda Alston (EOM)
Cc: Eugene Adams (OCC); Robert Spagnoletti (OCC); Tarifah Coaxum (OCC); Fredreika Smith (FEMS); Theresa Cusick (FEMS); Margret Kellems (EOM); Adrian Thompson (FEMS)
Subject: Fire/EMS will provide diversity training materials

The Corporation Counsel wanted me to alert you to the fact that these diversity training materials will be provided promptly to each of you as well as to the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C.. The Fire & Emergency Medical Services Department did not have an intention to withhold the materials (which they developed voluntarily); they were simply making sure that the appropriate Fire/EMS official authorized the release of the materials.

Darryl G. Gorman
Senior Counsel for Agencies
Office of the Corporation Counsel
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Room 409
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 727-3400
(202) 724-6160 (FAX)



Executive Office of the Mayor to GLAA

From: Tisa Smith
To: Bob Summersgill
CC: Monica McDonald
Subject: FW: Email from the EOM (Intranet Quorum IMA00411075)
Date: Wed, 7 Apr 2004 17:55:53 -0400

Dear Mr. Summersgill: On Monday, April 5 your FOIA request for diversity training materials was forwarded to our EEO Officer, Ms. Fredreika Smith, who does not have responsibility for releasing agency documents. Your request was then forwarded to the FOIA office for appropriate action and it has been determined that the materials you requested are, in fact, subject to disclosure under FOIA and will be released expeditiously. Have a great day.

Tisa B. Smith
Constituent Services Liaison

-----Original Message-----
From: imailagent [mailto:eom@dc.gov]
Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2004 4:24 PM
To: Tisa Smith; Monica McDonald
Subject: Email from the EOM (Intranet Quorum IMA00411075)

EOM Workflow ID: 414595

Requester: Bob Summersgill -- Electronic Mail

Re: Concerns about Fire and Emergency Medical Services refusal to provide requested information to GLAA. Tisa, can your office please address this constituent and cc: me on any correspondence forwarded to him. Thanks in advance.

Monica S. McDonald
Constituent Services Manager
Office of the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice


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