Mandatory Registry Deadline

July 22, 2010, The New York Times
Mandatory Registry Deadline Announced, More Evo Communities Considered

by Madeleine Hart
Staff Writer

The deadline for mandatory registration of Evolved or Non-evolved status has been set for Aug. 31 by the Department of Evolved Affairs, according to Georgia Mayes, a senior analyst and communications liaison for resettlement projects currently in the works to allow registered Evolved citizens a "safe place" in the city.

Under current law, only those testing positive for the Suresh Linkage Complex are required to register. The plan to require registration of the Non-Evolved was unveiled by Raymond Praeger, Secretary of Evolved Affairs, in May. No deadline has been announced until now.

Non-compliance will carry the same consequences as it currently does, Mayes said, with the minimum penalty being a fine of $500, steeper penalties including jail time.

The change in the law is meant, according to Mayes, to remedy flaws in the system.

"The biggest inconsistency in the Registry system imposed so few years ago is that measures to account for those who do not Register are minimum at best. It's received as much criticism as the Registry has itself, but that is another initiative altogether," Mayes said.

Critics of the current Registry have argued that, unless all residents are required to be tested and carry papers of their status, the system allows potentially dangerous Evolved to fall between the cracks. Brooklyn resident Henry Svoboda, 52, a vocal activist for increased security measures, said, "It's too easy for someone not to register and still live a regular life in our neighborhoods, right next door to our children and our schools, and we would never know. The new registry should help fix that."

The new system would require testing for the SLC at birth as standard practice in all hospitals, Mayes said. Children will be required to be tested as well. "Once summer is over, we'll be implementing a program that will see nation-wide school encouragement for Evolved awareness and Registry acclimation," she said.

"That's an outrageous violation of privacy and patients' rights. There is no way that such a requirement is Constitutional or even legal, and I'm quite sure that there will be lawyers all over the place challenging an attempt by the US administration to attempt such a thing. It is akin to broadcasting the sexual preference or the HIV status of every single person in this country where any Joe Schmoe can hack into the database and steal your medical information," said Suresh Center Head Nurse and Nursing Coordinator Megan Young. "And if you think the abortion and anti-abortion lobbyists were bad before, I'm pretty sure they're going to hit the fan too — they're against in utero testing for genetic defects because they're worried people will choose to abort."

Despite such concerns that the resettlement projects might appear to be segregational and that mandatory registration means, to some citizens, an invasion of their privacy, Mayes says the goal for the DoEA is to better the situation for the Evolved. "What I would hope is that the end does justify the means, and that drastic, social change is only to reverse the reputational damage the Evolved took in their initial discovery, with the bomb of 2006. Our vision is equality," she said.

The redevelopment of Roosevelt Island has met with mixed results. The newly refurbished Octagon and Summer Meadows projects have given registered Evolved citizens low-cost, quality housing in a city where such is difficult to find, but a riot and raids for Evolved sick with the H5N10 flu during the prolonged winter have met with some criticism. According to Mayes, there are other neighborhoods being considered for such communities, "safe places" according to DoEA brochures, though she said she is unable to reveal any specific locations.

Young said such communities are to be feared and bring to mind bigotry of the past.

"It brings to mind the internment camps of the 1940s for Japanese Americans and the Nazi concentration camps for Jews. I'm an US military veteran and if what you're telling me is true, I've never been more ashamed of the leaders of this country than I am at this moment. 'Safe haven' is a scare tactic — go live here because it's not safe for you out in the populace. But it's not really because THEY aren't safe, it's because the people in charge of the country are afraid," she said. "It is the same form of bigotry that cost hundreds of thousands of Jews their lives in Germany and cost untold thousands of Japanese Americans their homes, businesses, and livelihoods here in our own country. I sincerely hope no one buys into it."

Meanwhile, Svoboda is a proponent of the changes to Roosevelt Island and hopes to see more neighborhoods so changed in the future. "That neighborhood was a vacant lot more or less, and now look at it. These people have a chance to live in great buildings for less than it would cost them anywhere else. They should look at it as a gift, not as a ghetto. Besides, it's probably safer for them there. There are bigoted people in this world who can't see reason, and it's those people that the government is trying to protect these Evolved from," he said. "I would love to live in the Octagon. Child care, tennis courts, a beautiful view? It's hardly the Warsaw ghetto."

The current population of Roosevelt Island is about 4,900, with half of that number residing in government-funded housing such as Summer Meadows and the Octagon, the latter of which requires a member of the household to be registered as Evolved. Consequently, the number of Roosevelt Island residents has almost doubled since late 2009, according to Mayes.

Mayes said that the new communities are designed to help the Evolved, not to segregate them. "For now, the Department of Evolved Affairs believes that the Evolved that inhabit New York City, as I don't need to tell you, have seen no end of disaster. From aggressive Humanis First movements through to Refrain and its apparent cause of suicidal tendencies in Evolved users, these neighborhoods are designed to be something of a reprieve, and most importantly, an option."

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