Editorial: Don't close Civil Rights offices

"The recent decision by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission to close its regional offices in Denver and Kansas City will have an impact on civil rights activities in the region, said former commission member Elsie Meeks of Interior. She said the commission was being "starved out of existence" and questioned whether closing the Rocky Mountain region office in Denver was to curtail civil rights activities in the region.

Meeks served on the commission from 1999-2005 and said its budget hadn't changed in 15 years. She called the Rocky Mountain region 'by far the most active' for civil rights issues in the country. The Denver office assisted the South Dakota Advisory Committee for its report on unequal justice for American Indians in South Dakota. Meeks fears that closing the Denver and Kansas City offices will mean that public hearings, such as the December 1999 hearing in Rapid City, into civil rights complaints won't take place. 'Once it's closed, it won't reopen,' she said."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Keep regional offices open (The Rapid City Journal 5/8)

Indian Country Reports:
Broken Promises: Evaluating the Native American Health Care System (July 2004) | A Quiet Crisis: Federal Funding and Unmet Needs in Indian Country (July 2003)

Relevant Links:
United States Commission on Civil Rights - http://www.usccr.gov

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