Apparently no one seems to remember Title VI. It was completely avoided during the 2006 election cycle. The Clarksville Urbanized Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CUAMPO) has even ignored the negative findings report it received from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Their response deadline has long since passed with no report to the public of how they responded.
However, the issue has not gone away. If anything, the pressures on our community are even greater now that federal officials are beginning to review and investigate fraud allegations that have been lodged with their different agencies. It’s about time they came out of their shells to ascertain the true status of compliance here.
July 2nd will mark the 43rd anniversary of Pres. Johnson signing the 1964 Civil Rights Act into law. Our own state legislature however didn’t adopt it into the TCA until 1993. Our city council still has yet to do so to this day.
Federal regulations and rules are easily available to the public via the USDOJ (U.S. Dept. of Justice) website. Yet our city council reps claim they know nothing about this law and relied on the former city attorney to advise them. Please forgive our incredulity at this farce of an excuse. They are elected to make “informed decisions!” The Internet is not the big bad bogeyman of old.
A simple search on Google will direct you to the USDOJ website. Once there, a simple inquiry about Title VI will yield a wealth of information for careful perusal. Try this: <www.usdoj.gov/>
Let us keep in mind a few salient facts:
- The City of Clarksville has no Title VI Implementation Plan.
- Nine racial discrimination lawsuits have been filed against the police department and the city.
- Of the the cases that have thus far gone to trial, the city has been found guilty every time.
- The city has been saddled with heavy judgments from each of the lost lawsuits, still yet to be paid and accruing interest.
- The police department has been clearly established as a racially hostile work environment for minority officers and personnel.
- TDOT Commissioner Nicely has stated that the city must develop its own Title VI Implementation Plan, as required by state and federal law, and disallowed Ms Woodle’s declaration that we could piggyback off of TDOT’s plan; oddly enough however, he has not reported this violation to USDOT, as is required under USDOT Title VI law and regulations.
- Even the CMCSS buries its Title VI implementation and compliance documentation under an avalanche of bureaucratic subterfuge and semantics. This, despite the fact that, Title VI law and regulations require openness and ease of access to the public on this material. You can’t even access it on their website. Ever try to get a public record from our local school system? It’s easier to extract hens’ teeth.
- The receipt of federal financial assistance requires Title VI compliance up and down the trail of that assistance distribution.
- A loss or suspension of federal financial assistance becomes a real probability when noncompliance is not affirmatively addressed by primary recipients or their sub-recipients, including contractors and sub-contractors.
These facts are irrefutable. Both the city and the county are sub-recipients of federal and state financial assistance and thus subject to the requirements of Title VI.
It’s been forty-two plus years since this legislation became the law of the nation. How long will we continue to procrastinate before “Gittin’ ‘er dun?” And “Why Procastinate?”