We published a copy of City Council President Doug Shields' bill (No. 2007-1797) on this issue here. Councilman Bill Peduto has been added as a sponsor of that bill, but he's also introduced amendments to it. Gloria Forouzan outlined the changes here as follows:
"...compel the Police Bureau to refer all allegations of domestic violence by officers to the independent Citizen Police Review Board."While the FOP has argued of the last measure that it "would be tantamount to taking away an officer's livelihood based on a mere accusation" it must be noted that this policy is 1) considered standard practice by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the U.S. Military and 2) that an intimate partner must convince a judge that there is a threat of eminent danger before a PFA is issued (far from the accusation at the October 18th public hearing that cops will lose their guns over "shouting matches").
"...bar the hiring or promotion of anyone subject to a PFA or criminal domestic violence investigation. "
"...force officers who are subjects of criminal domestic violence investigations or protection from abuse orders to "surrender all firearms, including their primary service weapon, immediately"
Also as was mentioned by Jeanne Clark (Squirrel Hill Now) at that public hearing, it has been 114 days (on 10/18/07) since the Mayor and Police Chief had promoted three officers with histories of domestic abuse and not one concrete step has yet to be taken. She also held up a brochure released by the Mayor's Office on DV that appeared to be printed on an inkjet printer and she said was not widely distributed. She compared it to the large-format, four-color, professionally-printed Redd Up brochure (I will note here that, tellingly, the DV brochure was not plastered with Luke's images).
What also came out at that public hearing was that the police response was to give verbal accounts of new policy changes -- nothing in writing still at this late date!
An initial vote on the bill (and amendments) will be held on Wednesday, October 31st.
(Previous posts on this issue here.)
Second Issue: Gender Equity
City Council President Doug Shields introduced a bill today (No. 2007-1845) that would approve the release of a Request for Proposal (RFP) from the city for a "A Comprehensive Study of Positions within Pittsburgh City Government" (see draft version here and a previous post by Dayvoe on this here).
As stated in the RFP's introduction, the purpose of the study is "to include a focus on the general soundness of the current system and whether the system affords internal fairness and equity, without gender or other bias."
Both Barbara L. Trant, Director of Personnel & Civil Service Commission for the City, and Heather Arnet, Executive Director of the Women and Girls Foundation, spoke to Pittsburgh City Council today about the study.
It must be said that both Councilman Bodack and Councilman Motznik initially expressed doubts about the need for such a study with Bodack saying that he thought that the city's hiring and promotions system allowed "no room to exist" for gender inequities and Motznik saying that he wasn't ware of any problems.
Ms. Arnet said that it was an "economic development" issue as a majority of college graduates are women and that demonstrating that Pittsburgh cares about gender equity in pay is a plus for keeping and attracting female professionals.
Some interesting (or nauseating) facts came out during the discussion:
Nationally, women make 81 cents to the dollar as compared to males. Statewide it's 73 cents while it's only 70 cents in the city of Pittsburgh.Councilwoman Twanda Carlisle was blown away by the last figure and offered to help in any way she could in her last months on Council.
There are 3,440 city employees but, only 923 are female.
Councilwoman Tonya Payne predicted that the study would also show a big disparity in terms of race regarding both hirings and salaries of City employees.
An initial vote on this bill will also be held on Wednesday, October 31st.
Now here's where YOU come in:
Please lobby City Council on both bills and the Mayor's office on Bill No. 2007-1797.
Again, I turn to one of Gloria's posts at The Pittsburgh Women's Blogging Society, this time for contact info:
Mayor's OfficeYou can also join others in lobbying Council members in person on both pieces of legislation on Tuesday, October 30th at City Council at 9:00 AM.
Phone: 412-255-2626, Fax: 412-255-2687
Len Bodack, Jr.
email@example.com , Telephone: 412-255-2140, Fax: 412-255-2419
firstname.lastname@example.org , Telephone: 412-255-2137, Fax: 412-255-8658
email@example.com , Telephone: 412-255-8963, Fax: 412-255-2821
firstname.lastname@example.org , Telephone: 412-255-2135, Fax: 412-255-2129
email@example.com , Telephone: 412-255-2130, Fax: 412-255-8950
firstname.lastname@example.org , Telephone: 412-255-2131, Fax: 412-255-2821
email@example.com , Telephone: 412-255-2134, Fax: 412-255-2821
firstname.lastname@example.org , Telephone: 412-255-2133, Fax: 412-255-2821
email@example.com , Phone: 412-255-8965, Fax: 412-255-2821
UPDATE: Post-Gazette article: "Dispute over police with PFAs heats up"
We hear tell that in today's City Paper the Mayor more or less blames foot-dragging on the DV issue on the women themselves. We'll be picking up our copy soon.