Chippewa Valley Civil Liberties Union
Board Meeting Minutes for 3.2.2008
Herrick & Hart SC Law Office, 116 Grand Ave., Eau Claire
Present: Myron Buchholz, Jeremy Gragert (presiding), Ann Heywood, Warren Lang, Mildred Larson, Bob Nowlan, Nicholas Passell, David Rice, Geri Segal, and Corey Hilber (visiting)
1. Jeremy called the meeting to order at 7:06 pm.
2. Ann emailed minutes shortly after the January meeting. Mildred asked that minutes be sent as an email attachment as well as email content. (This may or may not work for some board members as the original will be in Appleworks, not Word.) Ann asked that board members respond to the minutes with an email “OK” or corrections. Minutes were approved as recently edited by Ann.
3. Nick reported a balance on hand of $338.82 in the CVCLU checking account and 5.01 in the savings account. The board discussed again the need for a cumulative report form with sources of income and outflow so as to facilitate understanding of fundraising efforts, reporting to state, and transitioning to the next treasurer in the future. Report approved.
4. The board discussed the Anthony Romero Forum event of February 7. We were well satisfied with the speech, large audience, and general response. It seemed likely that our advertising efforts helped to fill the room. Myron reported on negative comments about the ACLU on the Leader Telegram online site (ACLU is bunch of Communist no-goods, etc.). We also perused a printed letter to the editor with similar negative comments, but we concluded ignoring the letter is best. Bob liked Romero’s election year emphasis on the ACLU’s nonpartisanship and the personal stories that highlighted individual experiences with infringement of civil liberties. Jeremy noted that few people left during the Q and A period. Mildred, Myron, and Jeremy noted the enthusiastic response of high schoolers who were present. Cory reported that perhaps 1 and 1/2 pages of student signatures were gathered to help facilitate formation of the campus group. Ann reported that we gathered names of 8 adults who took membership forms. Mildred noted that about 100 people signed up for the pre-forum reception, a number much higher than usual. Ann thanked Mildred for hosting the pre-forum event and for an excellent speech welcoming Romero. Warren asked if there is a taped copy of the event; Jeremy will check into that availability and report back.
5. Cory reports that the campus leaders have the email addresses of many interested students now. He asked about membership dues to state and what they might get back in rebate. Ann noted that since student membership is just $5, there will probably be no rebate, but there are support services from state staff. Bob, Jeremy, and Cory discussed ideas for presentations and activities to get students involved, including getting a speaker on what to do when police show up unexpectedly at a party, ACLU Freedom Files, and ACLU history. Mildred will contact state and email the ACLU-WI history.
6. Ann suggested investigating and organizing activity against the implementation of the Real ID in Wisconsin. After some discussion, Bob suggested this topic as a good one for our fall program. Ann will get information about the current status of the Wisconsin implementation plans and email response to the board.
7. Ann reported that she has had one CVCLU website training session with Dan Freund and is making progress, but at least one more session is necessary as the updates involve working with html language. Jeremy noted that we should check into using the new ACLU logo rather than the old. We discussed having contact information for all board members available on the website, but concluded that the amount of traffic so far suggests having just Jeremy’s contact email is sufficient.
8. Mildred announced that Erik Guenther is the new ACLU-WI president. He is currently doing legal training in Afghanistan, but he will be back by the end of the month. He has often spoken to student groups about their rights, and he was the ACLU lawyer volunteer who worked on a high school student Taser case.
9. We discussed the use of Tasers and the fact that campus police now have tasers. Corey will investigate what policies govern their use at UW-EC.
10. Jeremy brought up the controversy about the building of the new county jail. Is there a civil liberties connection? The siting and cost do not make a civil liberties issue, but Nick questioned whether the cost had been deliberately manipulated to keep it under the threshold triggering a public referendum in which case there may be a denial of democratic process. This led to discussion of the lack of a county map that clearly delineates the representative district lines. (Jeremy noted the experience of one board candidate who canvassed in the wrong district.) Such a map seems basic to the proper functioning of the board system. Jeremy will draft a letter to the Eau Claire County Clerk requesting that the Eau Claire County web site be updated to reflect accurate and complete listings of which neighborhoods and districts county board members represent.
11. The next board meeting is set for Sunday, May 18, 6:30 p.m., at David’s law office.
12. Meeting adjourned at 8:45.
Ann Heywood, secretary