A proposed civil and human rights ordinance prohibiting discrimination and other forms of bigotry in Los Angeles was discussed Thursday by the City Council’s Immigrant Affairs, Civil Rights, and Equity Committee, but held back from passing as the committee debated he makeup of a commission that will oversee the ordinance.
The commission would investigate violations or the ordinance, with the power to levy fines, but some of the committee members had questions about its makeup. As written, the ordinance would have five members appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the City Council, but Peter Schey, a civil rights attorney and the city’s legal adviser on immigration issues, said he thought the commission should have at least 12 members with as many as eight appointed by the City Council.
“I would hate to put the fate of this commission — without saying anything disparaging about the current mayor — that’s one person that could swing this way or that way politically,” Schey said. “The City Council is unlikely to swing in that way. It’s more likely to be stable.”
The motion to create the ordinance says the proposed law “must provide remedies easily accessible to victims of discrimination and include severe penalties to discourage the exploitation of and discrimination against the city’s residents.”
The ordinance was first proposed by Council President Herb Wesson and Councilman Gil Cedillo. Cedillo, who chairs the committee, predicted the ordinance would pass at the next committee meeting and said, “I don’t think this is cooked. I think we are about 99 percent of the way there.”
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