Councilmember Charles Allen will re-introduce bills protecting tenants, expanding sexual assault survivors’ rights, and banning non-disclosure agreements for sexual misconduct from Council Period 22 at the first legislative meeting of Council Period 23.
Re-Introductions from Council Period 22:
Sexual Assault Victims’ Rights Amendment Act of 2019 (introduced at the Office of the Secretary): Councilmember Allen re-introduced legislation, commonly known as “SAVRAA 2.0”, to expand the right to a sexual assault advocate for young victims, clarify a victim’s right to information about their case, and establish updated timelines for the Department of Forensic Sciences to process sexual assault kits. The bill also would establish a review committee to receive and investigate complaints from sexual assault victims, among other provisions.
“This is important legislation, and it’s critical to make sure we get it right by working closely with victim-survivors and advocates,” said Councilmember Allen. “For too long, DC did not treat victim-survivors of sexual assault with the dignity and urgency needed as they process a traumatic event and seek justice. While we’ve seen many improvements in the past five years, more should be done. I intend to move the bill early in the new Council Period.”
Housing Conversation and Eviction Clarification Amendment Act of 2019: Councilmember Allen will re-introduce a bill that makes it costlier to downsize multi-unit rental buildings by adding a fee when developers submit plans that reduce the total number of units. The bill also adds a penalty to an existing law that forbids landlords from evicting a tenant under the premise of living in or selling the home, but then returning the unit to the rental market in less than a year. More here from the original introduction.
Sexual Misconduct Sunshine Amendment Act of 2019: Introduced in July 2018, this bill would build on the progress made by the #MeToo movement by limiting most non-disclosure agreements designed to hide sexual misconduct. More here from the original introduction.
“Building on decades of work by innumerable women, the #MeToo movement has heightened public attention to the prevalence of sexual misconduct and discrimination in and out of the workplace. Non-disclosure agreements are often coercive and allow predators to hide their behavior from accountability and liability,” Councilmember Allen said. “By passing this bill, we can protect employees and shift some of the power back to workers.”