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Oct 30th

Public hearing on the enforcement of human rights and civil rights

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Governor Tim Pawlenty and the Minnesota Legislature will hear testimony about Minnesota's abysmal failure to enforce human rights and civil rights laws in an informational hearing, Monday, January 21, 2008 from 1-3pm in Buetow Music Hall at Concordia College, 300 Hamline in Saint Paul.

The hearings, presented by The Equality Campaign, in conjunction with the Governor's Commission on the Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, will receive testimony from local organizations and residents about the growing problem with human rights and civil rights enforcement. Governor Tim Pawlenty and the Minnesota Legislature will hear testimony about Minnesota's abysmal failure to enforce human rights and civil rights laws in an informational hearing, Monday, January 21, 2008 from 1-3pm in Buetow Music Hall at Concordia College, 300 Hamline in Saint Paul.

The hearings, presented by The Equality Campaign, in conjunction with the Governor's Commission on the Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, will receive testimony from local organizations and residents about the growing problem with human rights and civil rights enforcement. The testimony will focus on the widening disparity gaps in education, employment, business development, housing, public accommodations and other areas of life due to Minnesota's "lackadaisical and dysfunctional approach to human and civil rights enforcement."

Organizers cite that over the past ten years various reports and studies have found:

  • That in the past five years, the net increase in funding to agencies that enforce human/civil rights protections was less than the previous three federal administrations.

  • That the Minnesota Department of Human Rights does not perform its statutory duties.

  • That a Minnesota Legislature and Supreme Court examination showed racial bias exists throughout the State's Judicial System.

  • That Minnesota procurement activities showed under-utilization of minority and women business enterprises.

  • That the Organizing Apprenticeship Project's Minnesota Legislative Report Card on Racial Equity gave the Legislature an F and the Governor a C- for their support for racial equity bills.

  • That St. Paul during the period of 2001-2004 made a 50% cut to its Human Rights Department budget.

  • That Saint Paul's Department of Planning and Economic Development and the city's Housing and Redevelopment Authority lack of monitoring and enforcement procedures and practices accountability has contributed to the under-utilization of minorities, women, and disadvantaged business enterprises.

  • That Minneapolis has had four Directors overseeing their Civil Rights Department in a three-year period and has not provided a net increase to its operational budget for ten years.

  • That Minneapolis has a strategic plan that forecasts the elimination of its Department of Civil Rights by 2010.

  • That Ramsey County's race neutral approach to contract procurement, is inconsistent with its joint powers agreement with the city of Saint Paul, which has a race and gender specific procurement approach, to coordinate its procurement activities.

  • Minnesota has 57 Human Rights Commissions charged with reviewing human rights complaints but many areas of the State do not have a commission or staff to serve their communities and most of the commissions operate with volunteers and limited budgets.

    The Equality Campaign said hearing will be the first of this nature in Minnesota in ten years. The Equality Campaign is a training and policy advocacy initiative. For more information on the public hearing contact Stacie Cormier @ 612-600-0502 - send all emails inquiry to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

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