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Cambridge Creates Women's Committee

Despite Councilors' Qualms


The Cambridge City Council last Monday passed an amendment establishing a commission on the status of women, despite some councilors' misgivings regarding the procedure for selecting members for the commission.

The commission will serve as an advocate for women's interests in discussions of issues such as day care, equal employment and wife abuse, depending upon the specific interests of the new commissioners. Information, referral and assistance to women seeking help from government agencies, as well as prodding enforcement of equal opportunity, are all included in the commission's charter.

Jobs are the biggest issue, and the commission will set up a job bank listing Cambridge jobs in the private and affirmative action officer for the city, said yesterday.

Rabouin, a member of the ad hoc committee that pressed for the commission, said although the ad hoc committee evolved from a group working for the Massachusetts Equal Rights Amendment, she hoped the commissioner would represent a better socio-economic cross-section of Cambridge women.

Councilor Saundra M. Graham said last night she intends to introduce an amendment to clarify the selection of candidates.

The amendment now stipulates that the city manager will make the initial appointments, with the commission submitting recommendations for subsequent appointments. City Councilor Barbara Ackerman said yesterday City Manager James L. Sullivan will advertise to recruit members.

Mary Conlon, administrative assistant to the dean of Law and a member of the ad hoc committee, said yesterday women councilors had been concerned that the committee would want to place its own members on the commission, but that she believes such fears are groundless.

Councilor Walter J. Sullivan said yesterday that he had offered the only dissenting vote in the council because he felt the selection clause violated city charter rules.

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