Council passes resolution to fight bigotry in DC, nation

The D.C. Council unanimously passed a resolution reaffirming the human rights of District residents and calling the federal government to do the same.

The bill, introduced by At-large Council member Robert White with the support of all other members, was passed without discussion on Tuesday afternoon. White introduced the bill on Jan. 24, four days after President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

White’s legislation seeks to fight bigotry like Islamophobia, racism and xenophobia, that the bill said the current political climate has produced.

“We had felt the statement of principles was necessary given the dark, divisive messages President Trump campaigned on,” White said before the resolution was put to vote.

The resolution states that D.C. welcomes all people, including refugees, immigrants and people of all races, genders, sexualities and faiths.

In the wake of incidents like families being detained at airports or separated by immigration-related arrests, White offered the resolution to the community as a statement of support to “those in need.”

Last Friday, a Los Angeles father was detained by immigration authorities just after dropping his daughter off at school, The Los Angeles Times reported.

“We are united and we will do whatever is necessary to protect our community,” White said, highlighting the strength of D.C. organizations to aid the most vulnerable members of society.

The resolution focuses on providing equal access to resources, declaring support for reproductive health and the Affordable Care Act and vowing to continue D.C’s status as a “sanctuary city.”

Trump signed an executive order in January calling sanctuary cities like D.C., where officials promise to protect undocumented citizens, a violation of law and threatening to revoke their federal funding. Mayor Muriel Bowser has promised to maintain the District’s sanctuary status.

Council members also unanimously passed a resolution creating a full-time position for an auditor to help the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions meet financial deadlines under this year’s regulations.

The Council passed a similar bill changing some of the Commission’s financial guidelines like punishing ANCs for late audit reports and adding the full-time auditor, which will be effective April 1.

At-large Council member Anita Bonds introduced the emergency declaration passed Tuesday to add an auditor to the Office of ANCs before April 1.

While largely a procedural change of operations for the ANCs, the auditor will help to deliver the funds to each commission without delay, Bonds said.

“This emergency legislation is necessary to ensure that the auditor and the Office of ANCs are able to make a timely transition of ANC financial oversight functions,” Bonds said.

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