Michael Stoops

At a July 11 meeting of the D.C. Council, At-Large Councilmember David Grosso introduced the Michael A. Stoops Anti-DiscriminationAmendment Act of 2017. If passed, the amendment would add homelessness as a protected class to the Human Rights Act of 1977 which is enforced by the D.C. Office of Human Rights. The Stoops amendment would be the first legislation of its kind in the nation, according to Michael Santos of the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty.

The Office of Human Rights would have the authority to enforce this amendment against homeless discrimination through legal action, with the same framework that has been used for decades inlocal cases of discrimination against other protected classes such as race and religion. OHR’s oversight differentiates the amendment from Homeless Bills of Rights that have been passed in other states and cities, where each complaint must be reviewed in the courts.

The impetus for this proposed amendment comes from the National Coalition on Homelessness which has been working since 2013, initially under Michael Stoops tireless leadership to make this become a reality. The People for Fairness Coalition has been an active member of the working group that introduced the basis for the proposed amendment.

Source: Street Sense, July 11, 2017

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