From Councilmember Julie Eiselt, a clarification regarding the email sent to CWM Members Friday, Sept 22nd:
The (clinic on Latrobe Dr) topic is NOT on the City Council agenda for the Monday night council meeting. There are citizens on the Wait List for the Public Forum portion of the meeting, that would like to speak about the topic, but it will not be addressed Monday night by council.
On October 5th, the Community Safety committee will discuss the issue of parking on Latrobe, as it relates to the safety of drivers coming to the clinic or to other businesses in the area. As committee chair, I also request that staff also vet noise mitigation strategies, for days that there are groups out protesting on the street. The committee will then ask staff to research legal options and come back with recommendations for the November Community Safety meeting. After the committee has heard those recommendations, it will vote whether to move the recommendations to the full council.
I believe this is the optimal process to ensure the safety of patients who are accessing health care appointments, as well as of those that are demonstrating or working and traveling Latrobe Avenue.
All City Council committee meetings are open to the public, however the public is not allowed to speak at committee meetings. The opportunity to speak is through Public Forums, or by contacting council members directly: http://charlottenc.gov/CityCouncil/bios/Pages/ContactUs.aspx
For information on Council Focus areas and meeting schedules please go to the following link:
Councilmember Julie Eiselt
Women seeking reproductive care are harassed as they try to access services at A Preferred Women’s Health Center on Latrobe Drive. Charlotte City Council must take action to end this discrimination. Included in this post you will find background information on the situation and a suggested script for your contact with elected officials. PLEASE MAKE A CALL OR SEND AN EMAIL TODAY.
A full range of reproductive services are provided at A Preferred Women’s Health Center on Latrobe Drive. Religious groups protest, march and harass women trying to enter the clinic. This situation is the focus of a 20-minute Rewire original documentary: Care in Chaos. The film highlights the challenges women face accessing services at the clinic. Protesters congregate outside, yelling on loudspeakers and obstructing traffic.
CWM Women’s Health committee members volunteer, assisting clients trying to access reproductive services. Committee members have also presented our concerns to the Charlotte City Council. There is a police presence at Latrobe Drive but intimidation of women accessing services continues. On September 16, protesters brought their children to join in the march. Two children fainted and emergency vehicles had difficulty gaining access to them.
For additional background information on the Latrobe Drive clinic protests, read this Special to the Editorial Board column written by Lisa Levenstein, board member of NARAL NC, published September 21 in the Charlotte Observer.
There are solutions to this situation
Please call or email your city council member ASAP; a suggested script is outlined below. This topic may be on the agenda for the Citizen’s Forum on September 25, starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Meeting Chamber, 600 East Fourth Street.
If you are unsure of your council person, click here and enter your address in order to determine your district and representative.
A list of all City Council members, along with their contact info, maybe be found by clicking here.
My name is ____________from _______ (neighborhood and zip code). I am calling/writing to express my concern about the harassment of women accessing reproductive services at A Preferred Women’s Health Center on Latrobe Drive. I want you to take action. My concern is that women seeking services are harassed by protesters and this has resulted in significant safety concerns for all and more importantly, difficulty for women seeking services. We believe you can ameliorate this situation by taking the following action:
1) Require protesters to remain on opposite side of street from the clinic and not walk in the street;
2) Require police to ticket protesters who touch cars of women seeking services;
3) Do not issue permits for any sound system or megaphones in this area;
4) Post “no parking” signs on both sides of this section of Latrobe Drive to assure easy access of cars and emergency vehicles;
5) Develop an unbiased system to monitor activity and assure that clients are not harassed and crowd is controlled.
Thank you for hearing my concerns and I look forward to your action.