Saturday, May 23, 2009

CMs: Please attend July 1 CFRC hearing

We can expect that CM Phil Mendelson, chair of the Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary, will be the major questioner of witnesses at the July 1 CFRC hearing.   But remember that there are four other members of the committee:   Ward 2's Jack Evans, Ward 3's Mary M. Cheh, Ward 4's Muriel Bowser, and Ward 7's Yvette M. Alexander.

Also remember that the issue and child fatality recommendations also involve health (under the purview of the Committee on Health, Catania, chair), education (under the purview of the Committee of the Whole, Gray, chair), and juvenile justice (under the purview of the Committee on Human Services, Wells, chair). All in all, then, all members of the City Council have some responsibility for oversight of this issue and implementation of the recommendations.

My point?   That residents of Wards 2, 3, 4, and 7 should urge their representatives to attend and actively participate in the hearing.   As we would expect, Ward 8 had the highest number of youth deaths investigated by the committee.   Of the 160 deaths analyzed in the report, 36 were from Ward 8.   But other wards felt the pain as is illustrated in the report (page 5, page 11 of 54).   Those analysts, advocates and providers working with the health and human services committee as well as the Committee of the Whole should also encourage committee staff and chairs to pay close attention to this issue.

There is no single fix to this problem.   Many things have to change to keep kids alive and safe.

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