At a November 9 city council meeting, budget staffer Anne Friedlander told Council Member Jim Compton that his request was "unusual." Compton's request? He wanted the city to audit a grassroots agency--Communities Against Rape and Abuse (CARA).
CARA is a women's organizing group that educates communities about rape. CARA, one of four sexual-assault service agencies that contracts with the city's Human Services Department (HSD), gets $170,000 in city funds this year.
"Only one time in the city auditor office's [seven-year] history has it audited a community-based organization that provides human services," Friedlander says, "and that request came from the community itself and involved concerns over accounting."
In CARA's case, however, the push to audit came from Council Member Compton, who, people suspect, has political differences with the lefty women's group. Rather than providing post-trauma treatment like the other city-funded sexual-assault service agencies, CARA focuses on rape prevention, stressing social change and community organizing.
Compton dropped his audit request a few days later, after HSD officials assured him that they, rather than the city auditor, would take a closer look at those darn women's libbers. JOSH FEIT
The Enemy Within
Two years ago, the Latino activist group El Centro de la Raza got a reputation for being anti-union. At that time, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that El Centro had unfairly fired some employees and intimidated others when the workers tried to form a union.
Apparently, El Centro is at it again.
Organizers with the Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 8 say El Centro director Roberto Maestas called an employees' meeting to dissuade workers from launching a second union effort. "There are enemies among us," Maestas allegedly said, referring to pro-union workers.
Maestas called the claim "absolutely untrue." PHIL CAMPBELL
Palm Beach County elections officials should take the advice of King County elections officials: Next time, use AccuVote™.
AccuVote™ is a phenomenal balloting machine, made by Global Election Systems, which doesn't let you confuse your right-wing vote with your left-wing vote. AccuVote™ can immediately detect when you try to vote for two people in the same race, and it will immediately spit the bad ballots back out. AccuVote™ then lets you re-vote with a fresh ballot.
Had Palm Beach County used AccuVote™ like King County, thousands of elderly Florida Jews would never have voted for a Hitler sympathizer. NANCY DREW