The following were among actions taken at the Dec. 8 meeting of the District of Columbia Council.
GO-GO BAN -- The council gave final approval to legislation prohibiting persons under age 18 from staying at go-go bars past 11:30 p.m. on weekdays and past 1 a.m. on weekends and holidays.
Frank Smith (D-Ward 1) introduced the bill earlier this year because of violence associated with the dance concerts. One of the most popular go-go bars in the District, Celebrity Hall at 3401 Georgia Ave. NW, is in Smith's ward. In the past two months, two youths were stabbed there, and one died of his wounds.
The vote on the legislation was 11 to 2, with Carol Schwartz (R-At Large) and Harry Thomas (D-Ward 5) dissenting. The legislation became effectitve last Friday when it was signed by Mayor Marion Barry.
HOUSING DEPARTMENT -- The council approved the mayor's plan to create a Department of Public and Assisted Housing, giving it jurisdiction over public and subsidized housing, which currently is controlled by the Department of Housing and Community Development.
On Dec. 2, the council's Committee on Housing and Economic Development had voted to reject the plan, because it had been given only two days to study answers to questions asked during hearings with housing officials.
But in a statement at the full council meeting, committee Chairperson Charlene Drew Jarvis (D-Ward 4) said that the department later had supplied adequate information on the restructuring and that she would not oppose the plan.
Jarvis also said that the committee had concerns about such housing issues as personnel management, training, interagency cooperation and improvements in maintenance.
The new department will oversee the city's 11,803 public housing units, 312 federally subsidized units and the 936 units funded by the city's Tenant Assistance Program.
The city's public housing operation, which currently has a 13,000-person, eight-year waiting list, historically has received sharp criticism from federal government auditors.
A 1984 audit by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development cited "operational and managerial deficiencies" and inadequate rent collection, poor accounting and deficient controls of tenant selection in the city's public housing. Following release of the report, the mayor appointed a Blue Ribbon Commission on Public Housing, created an Office of Housing Reorganization and hired a consulting firm.
All three entities recommended creation of a separate public housing office, to come from, but operate separately from the current housing office -- which also oversees commercial revitalization in the city.
The new department will be headed by Alphonso Jackson, who was hired by the mayor earlier this year to oversee the transition.
EMBASSY PROTESTS -- The council gave preliminary approval to legislation changing from 500 to 100 feet the minimum distance that protesters must stay away from embassies.
Under current federal law, a 100-foot limit is enforced everywhere else in the United States. The council's action can be overturned by Congress.
The council voted 9 to 3, with Schwartz, Betty Ann Kane (D-At Large) and John Ray (D-At Large) opposing the bill and John Wilson (D-Ward 2) abstaining.
WORKERS' COMPENSATION -- Council member Wilhelmina Rolark (D-Ward 8) introduced an amendment to the 1979 workers' compensation law, which she said heavily favors employers when employes are injured on the job.
Under the current law, which covers all private employers in the city, an injured employe gives up the right to sue for damages in exchange for compensation by the employer.
"Unfortunately, the system hasn't worked fairly in the District of Columbia," Rolark said. "Insurance companies routinely refuse to pay promptly," resulting in a large backlog in complaints, she said.
Rolark's bill would increase the benefits for injured workers, whose compensation is now less than that paid to employes in Maryland and Virginia, and also less than payments to federal and D.C. government workers. The bill also would penalize insurance companies who are late in their payments. The bill was referred to the committee on Housing and Economic Development for consideration.
NORTHERN IRELAND -- Council member Nadine Winter (D-Ward 6) introduced a bill that would ban investment of city funds in companies doing business in Northern Ireland, unless those companies adhere to affirmative action principals aimed at ending employment discrimination.
Winter cited a report by the Northern Irish government on the chronic unemployment faced in that country by Roman Catholic men, who are out of work at a rate 2 1/2 times that of the Protestant majority. Winter cited an article in The New York Times on Irish unemployment as an incentive for her motion.
Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom, has a history of religious rivalry dating to the 17th century invasions of British Protestants. The Republic of Ireland, to the south, remains predominantly Catholic.
The bill was referred to the Committee on Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.