The Federation of Citizens Associations has agreed to urge the City Council to approve legislation that would set tougher standards for releasing persons on bail.
The resolution was passed last week at the last general meeting of the federation's eight-month session. The federation also elected new officers and a new executive board for its next session, which begins in October.
Stephen Koczak, who won reelection as president, told the 35 representatives from citizen associations that judges should have the discretion to deny bail to persons posing a danger to the community while assuring them of an immediate trial.
Koczak called upon federation officers and board members to "push hard" for City Council hearings on bail bond reform.
For four years, the federation has sought revisions in current bail procedures that federation members contend allow criminals to remain on the streets. The organization, which includes 24 District citizen associations, also has backed federal legislation in the last two sessios of Congress that would revise bail bond procedures. The bills were rejected in both sessions.
"I've been concerned with the issue for four years and have walked miles and miles to contact members in the House and Senate District committees," said George Frain, from the Kalorama Citizens Association and first vice president of the federation's executive board.
The new board also expressed opposition to a personnel bill that would allow federal employes to be paid more than city employes at the same level. Koczak said he believes the bill, which takes effect next year, "will merely train D.C. employes for the federal government where they can get more pay."
The federation also will ask the City Council to approve legislation to allow referendums on issues of public concern, such as the proposed D.C. Convention Center.
Koczak also urged that the federation work to assure that hearings be held in Congress to "seriously review and rereview" laws passed by the City Council under the Home Rule Act.
"All these are issues close to the people's hearts," Koczak said.
George Brady, chairman of the federation's Law and Legislation Committee and a delegate from the Spring Valley-Wesley Heights Citizens Association, expressed strong disapproval of Mayor Marion Barry's appearance at the Gay Pride Rally recently.
Frain, who is also chairman of the planning and zoning committee, expressed concern about zoning ordinances that open residential areas to commercial business.
"It's the only growth industry in this city," Frain said.
The new executive board and officers elected at the meeting: Koczak, of Cleveland Park, president; Frain, of Kalorama, first vice president; william Bickerdyke, of Capitol Hill, second vice president; Nancy Wright, of Glover Park, secretary, and incumbent treasurer Louise DeVault, of Anacostia, treasurer.
The 10 persons elected to the executive board were Adelene Bickerdyke, Capitol Hill; Glenn Bayer, Cleveland Park; Robert Curtiss, Burleith; Bob DeVault, Anacostia; John Eason Jr., Crestwood; Charles Harris, Cathedral Heights; Charles Locke and Marcelle Locke, Summit Park; James Molinelli, West End, and Mabel Morris, Glover Park.