Press Release: Councilmember Bonds Supports Judicial Independence and Stands Against Sexual Assault
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 19, 2017
Contact: Emmanuel Brantley
Councilmember Bonds Supports Judicial Independence and Stands Against Sexual Assault
WASHINGTON, DC – On the morning of Tuesday, December 19th, the Council of the District of Columbia convened for the last Committee of the Whole meeting of the year. During the meeting, At-Large Councilmember Bonds, Chairperson of the Committee on Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization, introduced the “Rental Housing Commission Independence Clarification Amendment Act of 2017” and the “Sense of the Council Against Sexual Assault Resolution of 2017.”
The “Rental Housing Commission Independence Clarification Amendment Act of 2017” clarifies the independent status of the Rental Housing Commission (RHC), whose primary responsibility is to decide appeals based upon decisions of the Rent Administrator and the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). This amendment would strengthen the District government’s separation of powers and safeguard the impartiality of the Rental Housing Commission on issues that can affect more than fifty-percent of the District’s population. While the Rental Housing Commission has been widely recognized as an independent quasi-judicial body, administrative support has been provided by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). This legislation, as introduced, will explicitly affirm the independence of the Rental Housing Commission, inclusive of all administrative, managerial, budgetary, and programmatic ties to DHCD. It will also adopt language to outline the responsibilities and requirements of the Commission and its members.
During this time, Councilmember Bonds also spoke on sexual assault, an issue that has caused great harm to individuals of all backgrounds. With the “Sense of the Council Against Sexual Assault Resolution of 2017,” Councilmember Bonds has called for society at large to “lead by example, and instill in the next generation a stronger sense of the difference between right and wrong, as well as the desire to treat one another with respect and dignity.” The Resolution received unanimous support from the Council, and comes just as the District government has implemented a policy requiring that all District employees undergo sexual assault training before the end of February 2018, an action that Councilmember Bonds called for in her Community Update Bulletin earlier this month.