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City Council Flashes

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All the Democrats on City Council voted for HRP's ordinance to stop discrimination against homosexuals and bisexuals as well as heterosexual. (Of course the Republicans voted no) But when it came to stopping discriminaron against transvestites and transexuals, the Democrats, led by Second Ward Councilmen Robert Faber, decided HRP had gone too far. Faber said that 'I am not convinced that these practices are legitímate differences in lifestyle that should be protected by law. He said that he doesn't want to further discrimination against them, he just thinks they shouldn't have the same rights as everyone else. So Democrats and Republicans voted to deny transvestites and transexuals equal protection. As it stands now, its a misdemeanor for a landlord to deny a lesbian a room, butit'sperfectly all right to turn a transvestite out into the cold. ELECTION DAY ALCOHOL SALE OK No longer will hot, thirsty people be I denied a beer at their friendly corner store on election day. It's now legal to sell liquor beer and wine while the polls are open. Recently passed by the state legislature, this amendment makes city law correspond to a recently passed state law. BARGAIN DAYS AT TRAFFIC COURT? You say you have a backlog of parking tickets you can't afford to pay? Thanks to HRP you may get to pay half price during a 2 month amnesty period. This means that during those 2 months you can go to court and pay only the original price of the ticket, not doublé the original which is the usual story if you haven't paid up within a week of receiving the ticket. Council passed an HRP sponsored resolution to suggest the amnesty to Senior Court Judge S.J. Elden. He and Judge Peter G.V. Thomassen don't want the amnesty, but City Administrator Guy Larcom thinks it will help fill those empty city coffers. HALF-ASSED ATTEMPT AT TENANTS RIGHTS Landlords will now have to give tenants all the information they need to figure out if their landlord is cheating them by violating the Rent Freeze. The tenant must receive in writing the base rent from Aug. I97; the current rent, and the calculated legal rent. Failure to provide this information means a $100 fine or 90 days in jail for Ann Arbor landlords. Any tenant ot tenant organization can press charges. City Council passed this proposal but an HRP proposal to check on the landlords by making them file the information with City Assessors Office was defeated when Mayor Harris and Councilmen Faber voted with the Republicans. Originally the City Assessor was rubbing his hand in glee over the HRP proposal. He would like nothing better than to find out the real property values which landlords have been trying to hide for years for tax purposes. The Assessors Office already has files for each apartment in the city. All it would do was add the rent information to the file. But in a surprise move at council meeting the Assessor changed his mind and incorrectly declared it would take $16,000 (which is an absurd prieel to put this nformation on file. This testimony enabled Harris and Faber to vote no for the sake of the tzxpayers. Sound wierd?. It's just business as usual at city hall where the FRIENDS OF THE ANN ARBOR LANDLORDS is a strong and on-going backroom organization. FIGHTSLAVE LABOR AT JACKSON PRISON City Council passed a resolution supporting the Jackson Prisoners Labor Union with the HRP and Democrats voting yes and the Republicans voting no. Citing their status as workers subjected to slave conditions, the prisoners at Jackson have brought their case before the Michigan Employment Commission. They are trying to be recognized as a unión to bargain for the legal minimum wage instead of the usual 25 cents per day. A public hearing will be held at Jackson Prison by the Commission. There will be a rally to show solidarity with the Prisoners Union on Saturday , July 22 on the Diag from 4-6 pm. with recorded music. Speakers will be Nancy Wechsler (HRP city councilwomen), Pun Plamondon (Rainbow Peoples Party Michigan Committee for Prisoners Rights), and Lee Dell Walker (who spent 18 years in Jackson on a false murder charge). A petition will be circulated to demand the governor use th e Department of Corrections to recognize the Union and to bargain in good faith. WHERE DOES YOUR TAX MONEY GO? Human Rights Party wants Ann Arbor citizens to have a say in where their taxes go, but the rest of council would rather keep us in the dark. Every spring the City Administrator assesses the city finances and proposes the budget. HRP wants an 1 1 member commission, with the same percentage party affiliation as council, to have access to all the same data and staff personnel as the administrator in getting the budget together. This spring the council got to see the budget only after t was done and there were very few copies available. HRP feels we need people to investígate and give alternative suggestions for the use of city funds, emphasizing human needs rather than those of business.