Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Tuesday 2/13 Call to Action

1. Special Election 2018
Yesterday, special elections were held in Minnesota. Karla Bigham won the state Senate seat in district 54. Unfortunately, the state House seat in district 23B went to the Republican candidate, Jeremy Munson. Both Karla Bigham and Melissa Wagner should be proud of their positive campaigns and the time and sacrifices they gave towards their goal. Their abridged campaigns were a good warm up for the work that needs to be done this year to get quality leaders into our government. Let’s all commit today to helping out with local campaigns. What happens in 2018 will impact our community for years to come.
2. H.R. 620 ADA Education and Reform Act
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits public places from discriminating against people with disabilities. If a person with disabilities encounters a barrier that prevents him/her from accessing a business they can speak with the business, file a complaint with the Department of Justice, or file a lawsuit.
This bill, (co-sponsored by Rep. Jason Lewis) would make it much more difficult to file a lawsuit. In order to do so, a person must first notify the business of the violation including specific details of the violation including what parts of the ADA were violated, then wait 180 days for compliance or substantial progress towards compliance. The concern is, reporting violations will become so difficult that people will become overwhelmed and give up.
3. Michigan Gerrymandering
Here’s some good news and a great example of what can be accomplished when a community works together. The group, Voters Not Politicians collected 425,000 signatures from Michiganders demanding that redistricting should be on the ballot later this year. The people of Michigan have taken back the power to choose who represents them. Way to go!
Check out this new website for active activists in Minnesota's 2nd congressional district. https://cd2action.com/
Here’s a great way to keep track of Rep. Jason Lewis’ actions in Congress.http://mn02congresswatch.org/
Smith (202) 224-5641
House of Representative switchboard: (202) 224-3121
MN Legislators: https://www.leg.state.mn.us/leg/legislators
Resistbot: https://resistbot.io/
Governor Dayton- https://mn.gov/governor/contact-us/
Geggy Tah just want to appreciate that you allowed them to transfer between pathways on this massive mazey melange of…

1 comment:

  1. Support for H.R. 620 ADA Education and Reform Act

    Hello fellow TPOM members. Sorry to weigh in very late on this, but I recommend that you support H.R. 620. I speak from my experience as an employee of a parking lot striping company where we get 2-3 calls per week from businesses being sued by unscrupulous lawyers. I’m very supportive of accessibility requirements but here’s why this bill deserves your support. (And these opinions are my own; I’m not speaking on behalf of my company.)
    1. FREQUENCY The lawsuits alleging ADA violations are more common than you might think and they’re hurting small businesses. Google the names “Paul Hansmeier” and “David Ketroser” to read about a couple of these attorneys and some of the victims of these lawsuits. It’s not a myth that these attorneys are succeeding in lawsuits that are averaging $3000 per property – a huge amount if you’ve got a small restaurant or convenience store. And that’s the cost of the lawsuits, not the additional costs of the remediations they require.
    2. EDUCATION The bill provides funding to educate property owners about accessibility codes. That’s a good thing! Minnesota’s accessibility code is different than federal ADA code and its higher standards supersede federal law, so many Minnesota businesses are unaware that their parking lots (for example) don’t meet code. If you do a web search on “Minnesota Handicap Parking Code” only one of the top 10 results will lead you to correct and complete information – and it’s buried in those results, so it’s hard to comply with a code you can’t find.
    3. TIMING With this bill, business owners are required to respond within 60 days of how they intend to resolve the violation and then they have 120 more days to actually resolve it. If you’ve done any remodeling at your house and had to get bids, you know that it might take a few weeks to identify good contractors, schedule them to come out, assemble their proposals, and then for you to choose a provider and get the work done. We’re aware of businesses who need bids for their parking lot, widening doors, installing wheelchair ramps, railings, lower bathroom sinks, grab bar repositioning, signage, … many contractors for a single lawsuit. Timing of 180 days isn’t unreasonable.
    4. SPECIFICS If you’re being sued, don’t you want to know exactly what you’re being sued for? The information advocating opposition to the bill says that by requiring plaintiffs to notify the business of the violation including specific details about what parts of the ADA were violated, … it may make reporting violations so difficult that people will become overwhelmed and give up. But there should be a higher standard for a lawsuit that will be costly to resolve even if it turns out to be baseless.

    I urge you to support H.R. 620 ADA Education and Reform Act. It won’t weaken the ADA, but it does give businesses a better chance of complying with the codes.

    Sheila Miller