Monday, October 31, 2005

Institutionalized Discrimination Against PWD's in The City of Cambridge, MA

City's Human Rights Ordinance is
NOT in Compliance With The ADA
Here in Cambridge Mass we, PWD's have to face multiple non compliance issues. I have been speaking out about this for several years. I have put my concerns in writing, and I have filed 2 complaints against the City with the Mass Commission Against Discrimination.
Today, In City Council, on the City Manager's Adgenda, Item #2, is his response back to the City Council re their request for a "status report" on the City's compliance with the ADA.
Why did the City Council make this request? beacuse the "disability question" was asked at a canidiates forum sponsered by the progressive democrats. The Q was..."If you are elected to City Council, will you put in an order bringing all City Ordinances into compliance with the ADA?" Of course all who answered responded, "yes!"
The sitting City Councillors were challenged by one of the challengers for a seat on City Council, he said, those of you who are on City Council now, why wait for the election? Why don't you put the order in now? After the forum, David Maher called me over, and asked me to set an appointment with him to discuss this. He was obviously concerned. We met for over an hour at City Hall. The result was the order he put in, and which all City Councillors supported...
City Council Order 0-51
That the City Manager be and hearby is requested to provide the City Council with a status report regarding the City's compliance with the Americans with Disabilities ACT (ADA) in all relevant aspects of City work, policies and ordinances.
The Status Report, if you can call it that, falls far short of the City Councils request. It fails to even mention doing a self evaluation and having a transition report. It mentions only one City program, the Facade Improvement Program, the only Policy mentioned is referred to as the "City ADA Policies" and which are not even enumerated, and most disturbing, this so called "Status Report" only mentions one City Ordinance. That is a far cry from "all City Ordinances."
One wonders what is on the City's self evaluation and transition plan?
The ordinance mentioned is non other that the INFAMOUS "City's Human Rights Ordinance" (Cambridge Municipal Code * 2.76.120). This ordinance is NOT in compliance with the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1990, the ADA, and herein lies the looming potential for a class action law suit.
This is institutionalized discrimination, folks!
Cease and desist!
I have requested the City Council not to accept this bogus status report.
I have requested the City Council to put in an order bringing all City Ordinances into compliance with the ADA.
I have requested the City Council set up a committee or a sub committee, where PWD's with the broadest experience can be engaged with the POLICY MAKERS at the City Council level, so as to bring an end to the institutionalized discrimination we are subjected to EVERY DAY here in Cambridge Mass!
Why the delay?
I am not opposed to having the Commission for Persons with Disabilities continue existing, I just want to remove the rubber stamp from their hands.
PS: This is Halloween, not April Fools!

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