City Hall  
City of La Crosse, Wisconsin  
400 La Crosse Street  
La Crosse, WI 54601  
Meeting Minutes  
Human Rights Commission  
Wednesday, September 14, 2022  
5:15 PM  
Eagle Room  
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Call to Order  
Littlejohn called the meeting to order at 5:21 pm.  
Roll Call  
7 -  
Tracy Littlejohn, Julia McDermid, A Xiong, Chelsey Myhre-Foster, Mac Kiel,  
Tashyra Bernard,Kristen Lettner  
1 - Kristen Ringgenberg  
Approval of Minutes  
Bernard motioned to approve the Minutes, McDermid seconded. The motion  
carried by a voice vote.  
Agenda Items:  
Discrimination Complaint - Kou Andy Vang v. Lee Bishop and Bob  
Daugherty - Determination whether the complaint alleges sufficient facts  
that if true, relief could be granted and therefore whether complaint is  
After the case was dismissed, the commission discussed improvements to the form to  
direct people to the right agency for their issues, like a flow chart. McDermid  
suggested an interactive form that used conditional formatting, where the last question  
informs the next question. Myhre-Foster suggested that the full form be visible  
regardless of responses. Littlejohn also suggested putting together an orientation  
packet of resolutions and ordinances for commissioners.  
Littlejohn dismissed the case due to lack of jurisdiction.  
September Updates from Racial Equity Team, REACH, and Homelessness  
Koterwski shared a Racial Equity Team update - postcards to promote the survey  
would be too costly and they are looking for an alternative medium. Bernard  
suggested partnering with organizations that are doing outreach to promote the survey,  
like HopeRestores. Littlejohn suggested adding an insert in the water bill. The RET is  
also working with translators at the Hmong Cultural Center.  
Sampson e-mailed an update: "The 'Friday Group' has continued to work on winter  
planning for this year. Some of the progress includes creating a process that allows  
individuals experiencing homelessness to participate in our meetings and share their  
solutions and the service agencies creating a team that has met with most people to  
identify other places they can go this winter. We are continuing to finalize plans for  
overflow shelter."  
LaPointe was not in attendance to share about REACH.  
Strategic Planning  
Staff provided overview of process so far. Littlejohn suggested looking at Human  
Rights ordinance to make sure the mission, vision, and values align with the code; she  
also suggested looking at the 2017-18 strategic plan. Some core values may be more  
appropriate as actions.  
Discussion on housing as a human right.  
Littlejohn said the mayor is working on a resolution with Sandy Brekke; she will draft a  
letter to mayor and Common Council in support. Staff researched what policies can be  
enacted in emergency declarations; McDermid suggested getting more information  
from Brekke on authority, such as zoning allowances at churches and reallocating  
funds. McDermid suggested making sure information about declaration is very clear;  
Littlejohn said the HRC's role could be in public education on the policy, including a  
press release. McDermid noted a large number of small-time landlords in La Crosse  
and they are like not up on fair housing laws. Bernard recommended sharing concrete  
examples, like in cases of eviction. Lettner suggested sending any ideas for  
actionable items to be incorporated in letter to staff. McDermid recommends including  
eviction counseling similar to foreclosure counseling. Littlejohn reminded about  
staying with State laws. McDermid brought up rent abatement process in Dane County  
and could be done in La Crosse; the State allows it, so the City just needs enabling  
legislation. McDermid suggested also giving more direction to Housing Authority for  
Discussion on Civil Rights Dept.  
Littlejohn suggested looking at what existing actions, policies, and programs could go  
under it, such as the Racial Equity Team and Human Rights Commission. There has  
been an increase in fair housing complaints and housing issues. Commissioners have  
a limited capacity. What would staff tasks and responsibilities look like? McDermid  
suggested getting HRC on GARE list serve. Ask if RET has discussed this as a  
possibility or is interested in collaborating.  
Littlejohn adjourned the meeting at 6:38 pm.  
Notice is further given that members of other governmental bodies may be present at the  
above scheduled meeting to gather information about a subject over which they have  
decision-making responsibility.  
Requests from persons with a disability who need assistance to participate in this meeting  
should call the City Clerk's office at (608) 789-7510 or send an email to, with as much advance notice as possible.