Disability Justice
Press Release

Wisconsin-Based Civil Rights Organization to Ask Burlington To Rescind Council Vote

Burlington City Council Voted Against the Civil Rights of Disabled (September 4, 2018)

By - Apr 19th, 2019 04:16 pm

Against the advice of senior City staff, the Burlington City Council chose to ignore federal civil rights law. The Council exempted a local business from provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and local zoning, and building codes.

According to Dorothy K Dean, CEO of Disability Justice, there are two major problems.

The first problem is that no local or state government has the moral, ethical or legal authority to set aside the Constitutional rights of any group of people.

The US Constitution prevents the creation of second class citizens.  Everyone is necessary to the strength of our democracy. Including everyone is the reason for curb cuts, steps with alternatives like ramps and lifts, and for handicap restrooms.

The second problem is the precedent this may set for every business in Wisconsin. Businesses could ask their local City Council to give them the same exemption. This could lead to litigation.

The City of Burlington has zoning laws and building codes that clearly require the facilities of new businesses to include people with disabilities. Dean says: “The Council should support the City’s own laws. Any person can lose mobility as they age – literally overnight in case of an accident. The Council action sets a bad precedent for all of us. Disability rights are for everyone.”

Dean contacted the City and provided a civil rights attorney’s opinion to the Council. The opinion states the obvious. No local government can ignore federal civil rights law.

Disability Justice is a Wisconsin nonprofit promoting full implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.


NOTE: This press release was submitted to Urban Milwaukee and was not written by an Urban Milwaukee writer. While it is believed to be reliable, Urban Milwaukee does not guarantee its accuracy or completeness.

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