Open Government Report 2014

To institutionalize a culture of transparent and open government, accountability, and to
expand opportunities for resident participation and collaboration, this Report describes
how the DC Office of Human Rights (OHR) has and will continue to develop and
enhance transparency, public participation, and collaboration. In accordance with
Mayor’s Order 2014-170, this report addresses the following topics:

OHR has taken significant steps over the last few years to become more transparent,
and will continue to do so in fiscal year 2015. Existing transparency-related projects
and efforts include:




Providing case data via our annual report, which is also available on our
website at Annual publicly reported data
includes: number of discrimination cases docketed by area and by protected
trait, average mediation settlement rate and monetary totals, number of
language access investigations and results, Commission on Human Rights
caseload and other important information.
Publishing our first report on progress of the Citywide Youth Bullying
Prevention Program, including detailed data and information about the
number of Local Education Agencies (LEAs) with bullying prevention
policies, the number that are compliant with requirements in the Youth
Bullying Prevention Act of 2012, and which requirements are not met by each
LEA. Additionally, OHR launched an online Know Your Policy web portal
allowing parents and guardians easy access to the bullying prevention policy
and primary bullying prevention contact at their child’s LEA.
Publishing agency information on our website, including all media releases,
all external reports (including our annual report, Language Access reports and
research reports), laws we enforce, internal personnel processes and
procedures, and complaint processes and procedures. We also provide
numerous facts sheets and documents to help residents better understand
office functions and work.
Responding to and providing contact information for Freedom of Information
Act requests, and making information available on our website at
Posting all Commission on Human Rights and Citywide Youth Bullying
Prevention Task Force meetings on the website as required under the Open
Meetings Act. Additional OHR events not covered under the Open Meetings
Act are also posted on our website.


Posting meeting minutes from the Commission on Human Rights open
Working closely with the Office of the City Administrator (OCA) and the
Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) to identify a significant
number of datasets that OCA and OCTO expect to publish online later this
year. If no dataset from our agency is selected to be included in this 2014
release, we will continue to work with OCA and OCTO to identify datasets
appropriate to publish in 2015. In the future, requirements for open data
reporting will be provided by the Chief Data Officer.

In addition to continuing the above transparency-related projects, OHR plans to
implement the following efforts:


Providing the number of inquiries made to the office regarding discrimination,
to provide a fuller picture of the number of complaints the agency receives in
a fiscal year.
Releasing more detailed geographic data about the cases docketed with our
office, including the number of cases filed by residents in each ward, and the
wards in which respondents are located.
Publishing our first Citywide Bullying Prevention Program annual report,
which goes beyond the aforementioned school-specific data to include policyrelated information on youth-serving government agencies and their grantees.
Increasing available information about cases before the Commission on
Human Rights, including criminal background cases, number of cases
certified for the Commission and number of decisions rendered.
Providing live webcasts of open meetings of the Commission on Human
Rights and Mayor’s Citywide Youth Bullying Prevention Task Force,
including archive webcasts of the meetings online.
Posting meeting minutes from open meetings of the Mayor’s Citywide Youth
Bullying Prevention Task Force.

Public Engagement and Participation
OHR has dramatically increased its public engagement and participation efforts over
the past year, and continued existing efforts, which includes:


Hiring a Community Outreach Coordinator focused on engaging the public to
educate them about civil rights in the District and to receive feedback on
OHR’s work and opportunities to improve. The Coordinator also attends the
meetings of non-profit organizations, Advisory Neighborhood Commissions,
tenant groups and other community organizations to explain the agency,
answer questions and receive feedback.
Increasing our housing discrimination outreach efforts significantly, with a
400 percent increase in the number of housing-related events, trainings and
meetings we have attended.






Posting agency information, events and other engagement opportunities on
our website, our social media platforms and through our email listserv.
Providing information online and through social media about how to submit
information during open comment periods for revising regulations related to
the Youth Bullying Prevention Act of 2012 and the Language Access Act of
Developing new, innovative and efficient methods for reporting
discrimination by taxicabs, and single-stall public bathrooms that are notcompliant with a requirement they be gender-neutral. OHR partnered with the
DC Taxicab Commission (DCTC) to create a joint, simplified form for
reporting taxicab discrimination, and allowed people to file complaints about
bathrooms via our Twitter handle or by using the hashtag #SafeBathroomsDC.
More about the taxicab discrimination form is available at
More about the SafeBathroomsDC campaign is available at
Creating a new general brochure that more clearly describes the agency for the
general public, and developing numerous fact sheets in multiple languages to
help describe the OHR complaints process, the Language Access Program and
the Citywide Youth Bullying Prevention Program.
Launching language support pages in Amharic, Chinese, French, Korean,
Spanish and Vietnamese, which provide basic OHR information and vital
documents in those languages.
Responding to all requests made via the “Ask the Director” email address
within two business days.

In addition to continuing the above efforts, in fiscal year 2015 OHR is considering:


Creating new, more efficient methods for reporting certain categories of
discrimination complaints.
Developing additional FAQ sheets for our programs and for new laws we

OHR has increased its collaboration with other government agencies and community
organizations in the last year, including:

Launching the Human Rights Liaison training initiative, bringing key staff
from community organizations into a full-day training to learn about District
civil rights laws, tips for identifying discrimination, and the OHR complaint
process. The training programs – which have trained almost 30 individuals
from almost as many organizations – aims to engage community organizations
in our work and provide them with the information necessary to assist their
clients when discrimination may have occurred.




Developing the joint taxicab discrimination form with the DC Taxicab
Commission and maintaining dialogue on how to reduce discrimination by
taxi drivers.
Conducting a survey to determine how government agencies and partner
organizations view collaborations with OHR.
Participating in the DC Taxicab Commission Disability Advisory Committee,
which brings together disability advocates, government agencies and the
taxicab industry to research ways to provide more accessible taxis.
Building partnerships with immigrant advocacy groups and direct service
providers. This included holding two events aimed at learning the needs of
those who speak limited or no English when engaging with government
agencies, and to determine additional services government could provide.
Engaging over 20 organizations and agencies from the Mayor’s Citywide
Youth Bullying Prevention Task Force to hold an event for parents and
guardians looking for tools and tips to prevent bullying among youth.
Conducting dozens of presentations and trainings for community
organizations and government agencies (such as the Office of Police
Complaints) to better educate the public about civil rights laws and OHR

In fiscal year 2015, OHR plans to:

Expand its Human Rights Liaison training program to incorporate more
community organizations and direct service providers from a greater variety
of communities.
Continue collaborating with the DC Taxicab Commission to determine new
proactive initiatives aimed at reducing taxicab discrimination.
Conduct a survey of partner agencies and organizations to further determine
the experience of such entities in working with OHR.
Create an “Ask OHR” social media campaign that prompts followers to ask
questions and provide feedback to the agency.