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
LaPointe was not in attendance to share about REACH.
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.