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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Human Relations Commission Minutes

October 21, 2010

Joan Reivich, Chairperson, Fran Wayne, Vice-Chair, Dale Cranmer, Secretary (absent), Pamela Whitney, Paul Manns 

  1. Meeting called to order at 6:30 pm by the Chair.
  2. Motion to accept minutes from the September meeting was unanimously accepted.
  3. Ride alongs with Lansdowne Police:  Pam summarized her experience with Sgt. Kienzle on the night of September 29.  Paul suggested we follow up on a regular basis with the police and offered to attend the public safety meeting.  Other commissioners are in the process of scheduling their turns.  
  4. Guest speaker: Tracy Collins Boyle, MSN, APN, CSN, Coordinator and Facilitator of Gay/Straight Alliance at William Penn School District.  
  5. She provided an overview of the two high schools in the district (Cypress Street for 9th and 10th grade, Greenwood Ave for 11th and 12th grade).  
    • She shared information about the development of the Gay/Straight Alliance (GSA) in the high schools. 
      • Protocols of the group – confidentiality, inclusivity, support
      • Topics discussed – sexual health, dating violence, tobacco companies targeting the LGBT community, pregnancy prevention
      • Activities – meetings with legislators, Day of Silence, fundraisers, health fair, smoking cessation
    • Other issues in the school and district: her view that Title 9 issues re: sports and equipment, partnership benefits, neglect of regular education students in favor of emotional support and special education support, tensions between Liberian and Nigerian students, Darby/Yeadon tensions, socioeconomic disparities in the district, dress code/uniform issues
    • Commission provided Tracy with HRC brochures and will ensure she has additional copies for the high schools.  
    • HRC would like to continue the conversation with Tracy and the schools to share information about those who live and work in Lansdowne being covered under our establishing ordinance.
  6. Bookmark draft was reviewed and suggestions for changes were given.  Pam and Fran will work on the next draft.
  7. Outreach to immigrants in Lansdowne: HRC will offer services to all people regardless of immigration status.  Joan met with Tim Thompson-Hohl, pastor of the Garden Methodist Church, who suggested she attend a ministerium to get the word out.  The next meeting is on November 9 at 9:30 am.  Tim said that many immigrants who attend church in Lansdowne live in surrounding communities rather than Lansdowne.  HRC can still share information about discrimination under PA statutes and offer guidance for those who’d like to file a complaint.  Emails to Nancy Holt-Timothy, pastor at the Lansdowne Presbyterian Church, have gone unanswered.  HRC members will meet with leaders in faith communities to see how we could assist their ‘newcomers.’ Fran will work on a list of the area places of worship and use the Borough website as a starting point. 
  8.  Joan summarized her presentation to the Neighbors Club on September 28. 
  9. Reminder: Beginning 2011, our meetings will move our meetings to the 4th Tuesday of the month at 6:30 PM.  
  10. Motion to adjourn at 8:15 pm.
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