Thursday, October 18, 2007

DC Examiner Published a Report on Jenny Botero

Press Release

Thursday, October 18, 2007, 8:44 am Eastern Time

The DC Examiner has published an article today quoting Barbara DiGiovanni and giving a detailed report of the infamous incident which occurred at a Marriott hotel last July involving the suppression of free speech rights of members of the Deaf Bilingual Coalition. The Marriott Corporation failed to mention in their response that the police advised Barbara DiGiovanni that a civil suit was one option she could pursue.

Click on this link to download a PDF version of the full newspaper page and newspaper clipping:

Here is the article from today's "Yeas & Nays" column in the DC Examiner:

Jeff Dufour and Patrick Gavin cover people, power and politics in the beltway. Want to comment? Got a juicy tip? Send an email to dish the dirt, chew the fat and wag the tongue

Yeas & Nays

Some say new W.H. housekeeper has dirty laundry of her own

October 18, 2007, 1:49 AM

by Jeff Dufour and Patrick Gavin

Congratulations are in store for Jenny Botero, who's leaving her
position as Marriott International's head of cleaning operations to
become the White House's new executive housekeeper. The move was first
reported in Wednesday's Washington Post.

But one group isn't too impressed with the White House's hiring of Botero: The Deaf Bilingual Coalition, which "promotes the basic human right of all deaf infants and young children to have access to language and cognitive development through American Sign Language."

In July, the coalition headed to the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington to distribute fliers criticizing the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Convention, which was taking place inside (the DBC stresses American Sign Language as a primary form of communication, whereas the AGB Association does not).

The coalition later described its take on events on its blog: "AG Bell convention site coordinator/manager Botero snatched the fliers from Brianna DiGiovanni, Barbara DiGiovanni's 8-year-old deaf daughter, and in the process, harmed her. Brianna had scratches on her hand where the AG Bell coordinator/manager snatched the fliers from. ... Brianna was briefly traumatized by this unprovoked assault. AG Bell coordinator/manager Botero then added insult to injury by ripping the fliers in half. Why would anybody do that to a 8-year-old child?" (For the record: Botero was not a coordinator of the event, but simply a resident manager of the Crystal Gateway Marriott at the time.)

The video of the confrontation does not include footage of Botero with Brianna or ripping up fliers, but it does show Botero approaching protester Raychelle Harris outside the hotel and attempting to snatch Harris' fliers before storming away. Harris later wrote on the DBC's blog, "I mean, she might approach hearing protesters and talk to them. But would she actually grab onto fliers in an attempt to
confiscate them?"

The 8-year-old child also wrote that she was "shocked," "scared" and physically "hurt" by Botero's treatment of her. Upon hearing the news of Botero's new White House gig, Brianna's mother, Barbara, told Yeas & Nays that she didn't think Botero was "competent enough to be employed at the White House because of her historic action of suppressing our freedom of speech."

But Marriott stands by its gal. "We're very aware of that incident," a representative said. "Jenny Botero certainly did not harm anyone at all, and police authorities involved decided no action was required."

The White House told us that, as a standard policy, it does not comment on personnel issues.

LINK TO ARTICLE (Click on link, then scroll down to make comments):

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

DBC At ASL Expo in Florida video clip

The Deaf Bilingual Coalition had a fabulous time this past Saturday, October 13th, at the ASL Exp in Kissimmee, Florida. DBC was able to establish networking and met so many wonderful people. It was a huge success. The people of Florida are enthusiastic and motivated to help DBC with the mission of ensuring all Deaf babies and children have a right to access language from the state through ASL. Thank you, Florida!

Sunday, October 14, 2007


We had an extremely successful trip to the ASL Expo in Kissimmee, Fla.

Our DBC team consisted of David Reynolds from Fremont, CA, Stephen Hardy from Gainsville, Maria Dollhopf from St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Carl Chapman from Orlando, and myself from Ft. Myers. The team was extremely skilled in presenting the mission of DBC, the meaning of bilingual, and how we all can work together person by person...state by state... to be progressive activist to ensure that all Deaf babies and children have a right to American Sign Language and access to it from birth.

We met so many wonderful people from Florida including members of the Florida Association of the Deaf, Chris Wagner from NAD, and the organizers of the Deaf Expo whose mission to create on-going exposure for promotion of American Sign Language We were able to network with these individuals along with many other advocates for the State of Florida. We collected over 250 names and email address of people who are interested in helping whenever and wherever they are needed and interested in the work that DBC is doing.

Our day ended and we were all very exhausted but very inspired by how enthusiastic people are, not only here in Florida, but also around the USA and the world about the mission of DBC. Here are some pictures of the ASL Expo.

by Tami Hossler