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Look to Human Rights Commission for help

August 12, 2012
Weirton Daily Times

To the Editor,

Have you been discriminated against based on employment, housing or public accommodations? If so, you should be reading this letter and then offering it to a friend, family member or a colleague. Weirton is our city, a great city; however, there are people that are being discriminated against and they keep their mouths closed and just move on, and sometimes they move out of town. This city and the surrounding areas have a plethora of properties similar to properties in other small towns and cities. Some property owners check on their properties regularly, while others just run to the bank at the first of the month to collect their rental money and retreat to their own homes. Being an absentee landlord does not grant you any special privileges. You own the properties, you pay the taxes, check on your property. People are always looking for housing, employment, and public accommodations that will serve them effectively and efficiently. The questions that come to mind immediately are: Are you being "steered away" from properties that are considered "upscale" properties? Have you been refused housing because you have children or because of your association with someone of another ethnic race?

All of these are illegal actions that have happened to people. Perhaps it has not been a housing discrimination problem that affected you or someone that you know. The effect is the same; it is discriminatory. West Virginia has a state Human Rights Act that prohibits discrimination in employment, places of public accommodations based on race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age (40 or above), blindness, or handicap. The WV Human Rights Act also includes the housing component, based on race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, blindness, handicap, or familial status.

With the Human Rights Act already in place, you have a Human Rights Commission in the City of Weirton that stands ready to assist and support your efforts to thwart discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. We are not in Charleston, we are in Weirton.

There are 11 knowledgeable commissioners that have been appointed to act and respond to any complaints that you may have. Any individual claiming to be aggrieved by an alleged unlawful discriminatory practice may make, sign and file with the Commission a verified complaint in writing. The Human Rights Commission may also make, sign and file a complaint whenever it has reason to believe through thorough investigation that any person has been engaged or is engaging, or proposes to engage in an unlawful discriminatory practice. It should be noted that all complaints shall be filed with any member of the Commission in person or via mail. For further information, or to file a complaint, call, write, or make an appointment with us. Write to us at P.O. Box 279, or call us at (304)797-8844. Each of the commissioners are listed on the City of Weirton's website page under, the Human Rights Commission. Do not forget, we are here for you.

Clemmie Payton Frierson


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