The Commission is beginning a two-year study of housing accessibility in Iowa. The study will focus on multi-family housing in communities around the state.
The initial stage of the study will look at the current level of accessibility. Previous accessibility studies will be reviewed and tests will be conducted in six communities. In addition, a survey of local communities will be done to determine their efforts towards ensuring compliance with fair housing laws.
The second stage will focus on education. The Commission will issue a report on its findings from the first stage. Staff will create an accessibility brochure highlighting the law and its requirements. The brochure will be mailed to builders, housing providers, and city/county inspection officials. The Commission will also sponsor a conference on accessibility in multi-family housing.
In the final stage, on-site tests will be conducted in communities to assess compliance with the law.
I came to the ICRC in the fall of 1996 as part of a work/study program through Drake University. Originally from Silver Lake, KS, I am currently a third-year pharmacy study at Drake. I am a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Social Fraternity and the Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity.
My job at ICRC is to review cases that are to be considered for reinvestigation. These cases have already been found to have "No Probable Cause for discrimination." When I receive a case, I go through all the paperwork and listen to the audio tapes of the interviews done during the first investigation. I make sure that a thorough investigation was done the first time and that nothing was missed that could have led to an inappropriate decision. When I'm through with a case, I confer with Mary Cowdrey, administrative law judge, and give my opinion with justifications for the recommended outcome.
I knew from the beginning that I would like doing this. For as long as I can remember, I've been extremely interested in law. In my year and a half of working here, I've learned that just because a person may have been treated unfairly doesn't necessarily mean that unlawful discrimination has occurred. I was also impressed to see that an uptight, high-stress environment is not necessary to produce professional results. I plan to continue working here for as long as I'm in school at Drake.
Friends of Iowa Civil Rights, Inc. Holds Annual Banquet
The Friends of Iowa Civil Rights, Inc. held its second annual awards banquet at the Des Moines Botanical Center on October 23, 1997. The event was a huge success. Attendance at this year's event was close to 100 (double last year's attendance).
Governor Branstad was this year's keynote speaker, and Christina Rocha, chair of Friends, was the emcee. Lt. Governor Corning assisted Treasurer Liz Sullivan in the presentation of awards. Awards winners included:
Each award winner gave a short acceptance speech. The evening was truly moving and memorable.
A date of Thursday, October 22, 1998 has been set for the next awards banquet, again at the Des Moines Botanical Center. Please watch for information regarding nominations and the banquet.