News

Chamber Supports Human Rights Measures – Opposes Politically Appointed Enforcement Commission

Our Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce supports enactment of a strong, unequivocal City Ordinance reaffirming the City�s full support for federal and state anti-discrimination statutes.� Our Chamber concurs with the efficacy of a local City venue for citizens to bring complaints of discrimination forward and for the establishment of a local City authority to ameliorate matters between parties towards resolution.� We also support the continuation of the City�s successful Dialogue of Race activities.�We respectfully disagree however with proposals for an appointed City Human Rights Commission, with investigatory, subpoena and enforcement authority and with no apparent appeal.� Our Chamber has continuing serious concerns about the nature, scope, jurisdiction, authority and operation of such a tribunal.� Our Chamber member enterprises have communicated very grave concerns about the unintended adverse consequences of such a mechanism, raising, among other things, the specter of business and jobs relocation from the City.�� In establishing of such a panel the City runs a high risk of treading on ground rife with complexity and exposing the City, its taxpayers and commissioners themselves to unsuspected repercussion. Our Chamber once again offers a different, prudent, non-political and professional approach.�The full Chamber memorandum is below.April 11, 2013TO��������� :�������������� The Honorable Satyendra Huja and Honorable City Councilors � City of Charlottesville

cc:���������� The Honorable Maurice Jones, Charlottesville City Manager

FROM���� :�������������� Timothy Hulbert, IOM, Chamber President RE��������� :�������������� CHARLOTTESVILLE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION ENFORCEMENT � OPPOSE

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Our Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce supports enactment of a strong, unequivocal City Ordinance reaffirming the City�s full support for federal and state anti-discrimination statutes.� Our Chamber concurs with the efficacy of a local City venue for citizens to bring complaints of discrimination forward and for the establishment of a local City authority to ameliorate matters between parties towards resolution.� We also support the continuation of the City�s successful Dialogue of Race activities.We respectfully disagree however with proposals for an appointed City Human Rights Commission, with investigatory, subpoena and enforcement authority and with no apparent appeal.� Our Chamber has continuing serious concerns about the nature, scope, jurisdiction, authority and operation of such a tribunal.� Our Chamber member enterprises have communicated very grave concerns about the unintended adverse consequences of such a mechanism, raising, among other things, the specter of business and jobs relocation from the City.�� In establishing of such a panel the City runs a high risk of treading on ground rife with complexity and exposing the City, its taxpayers and commissioners themselves to unsuspected repercussion. Our Chamber once again offers a different, prudent, non-political and professional approach.We support the establishment of a local, professionally-staffed Office of City Human Rights Advocate, defined within the City Human Rights Ordinance with authority to receive, compile, record, refer and track complaints of human rights transgressions from all sources � public and private � and promote regular community educational opportunities for full human rights for all our citizens.The Advocate would conduct her/his analysis of complaints in full confidentiality; work to best determine the validity and merit of the complaints received; and, best determine what actions are most appropriate to resolution of those complaints with merit and, dismissal of those without merit.� Where resolution of meritorious complaints cannot be facilitated by the Advocate, the Advocate would, within defined legal schedules, refer the record of her/his analysis and actions to properly established federal, state and local enforcement authorities and track these referrals towards resolution.Our Chamber strongly supports this approach to finding common ground in advancing a solid, reasonable mechanism to advance and protect human rights within our City.Thank you.

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The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to representing private enterprise, promoting business, and enhancing the quality of life in our Greater Charlottesville communities.