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CR Civil Rights: PUBLIC FORUMS FOR PROPOSED ORDINANCE CHANGES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

PUBLIC FORUMS FOR PROPOSED ORDINANCE CHANGES

 

The Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission will conduct public forums next week on Monday,

January 10, and Tuesday, January 11, over proposed changes to the Chapter 69 of the Municipal

Code. The sessions are free and open to the public.

 

In order to foster a more inclusive community, the Commission proposes adding gender identity,

retaliation, and lawful source of income as protected classes and extending across-the-board

coverage for all other protected classes. It will also provide changes in the area of public

accommodation that adhere to ADA standards, extend the time to file to 300 days for complaints

in the areas of employment, education, credit, and public accommodation, and extend the time to

file to a year for complaints in the area of housing.

 

The public forums will cover the changes regarding familial/marital status, gender identity,

lawful source of income, and design/construction requirements in public accommodation. The

forums will include explanations of the ordinance changes, their background, and how they will

affect the way staff conduct investigations. The sessions will also include a question and answer

section, so community members may voice their concerns.

 

The forums on Monday, January 10 will be held in the Sendak Room of the Cedar Rapids Public

Library in Westdale Mall, starting with familial/marital status from 6 to 7pm. The proposed

changes will extend across-the-board protection in the areas of housing, employment, education,

credit, and public accommodation.

 

Monday’s forums will conclude with gender identity from 7:15 to 8:15pm. The proposed

changes will add gender identity as a protected class in the areas of housing, employment,

education, public accommodation, and credit. The changes define gender identity as actual or

perceived gender-related identity, expression, appearance, behavior, or other attributes regardless

of the person’s assigned sex at birth.

 

The forums on Tuesday, January 11 will be held in the social hall of St. Paul’s United Methodist

Church, located at 1340 3rd Ave SE. The forums will start with lawful source of income from

5:30 to 6:30pm. The proposed changes will add lawful source of income as a protected class in

the area of housing. The changes define lawful source of income as any lawful, verifiable source

of money paid directly or indirectly to or on behalf of a renter or buyer of housing, including

income derived from: 1) any lawful profession or occupation; 2) any government or private

assistance, subsidy, voucher, grant, or loan program

 

Tuesday’s forums will conclude with design/construction requirements in public accommodation

from 7 to 8pm. The proposed ordinance changes will hold designers and/or builders responsible

 

for meeting ADA requirements in multifamily dwellings and public accommodations from the

date a certificate of occupancy is issued until compliance is achieved.

 

The proposed changes will be heard by the City Council, and if approved, will take effect

immediately.

 

For more information, please contact the following individuals at the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights

Commission by email or by calling 319-286-5036.

 

Paul Nemeth

Community and Educational Outreach Coordinator/AmeriCorps VISTA Associate

[email protected]

 

Karl Cassell

Executive Director

[email protected]

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