Board Meetings, Minutes - May 18th, 2008

Chippewa Valley Civil Liberties Union Board Meeting

Minutes for 5.18.2008

Health and Human Sciences Building, UW-EC, Eau Claire

Present: Myron Buchholz, Jeremy Gragert, Ann Heywood, Bob Nowlan, Nicholas Passell, Geri Segal Absent: Mildred Larson, David Rice; Warren Lang (resigned)

1. Gragert called the meeting to order at 6:32 p.m. and asked for someone to chair the meeting since he has a sore throat. Passell presided over the remainder of the meeting.

2. Minutes of the previous meeting were approved following notice that Corey Hilber’s name needs an e correction in several places.

3. Passell presented the treasurer’s report with details about the past year’s activity, including information to show that the fall fund raiser/dinner netted the CVCLU $61.47 after $205.47 newsletter costs and $536 restaurant charges. Balance on hand is $338.82, plus $5.01 in savings. Report was approved. Segal recalled that our earlier dinner/fundraiser at UW-EC had a bigger crowd and lower costs and therefore greater success.

4. Gragert reported information that was requested at the March meeting. There are no currently available copies of the Anthony Romero Forum presentation although there is an archival copy. (Jeremy will ask about the rules for access to Forum videotapes.) Jeremy also talked informally with his county supervisor and a county administrator about the out of date district voting lines published on the county website. Jeremy will email them about corrections needed.

5. Gragert announced the resignation of Warren Lang from the board. His dedication and commitment to be a full participant were noted with appreciation. We discussed how to get more involvement from Menomonie members and how we might reach out to serve that community as well as Chippewa Falls. Board members expressed willingness to hold occasional meetings in Menomonie. We then discussed identifying people in those communities who could be liaisons without serving as regular board members. Buchholz moved, Ann seconded, motion to contact Lang and ask about ideas to interest people in Menomonie. Myron also promised to contact a friend of his in Menomonie about serving as board member or liaison.

6. As we moved into the next agenda item, Corey Hilber was suggested as a new board member since he is committed, and his presence on the board would facilitate communication between the CVCLU and the campus ACLU Student Alliance. Gragert will ask Hilber to join. Nowlan and Gragert reported on activities of the campus Alliance. Corey Hilber and Aaron Brewster invited ACLU state staff members Emilio de Torre and Stacy Harbaugh to UW-EC in early May for a legal observer and student rights workshop. Hilber is planning to continue his training at a national level workshop this summer. He has other plans in place for the fall semester. One of the outcomes of the workshop is awareness that the voting experience on campus must be improved. Lack of space and sufficient poll workers were some of the problems in the 2004 elections. We agreed the CVCLU should take action to prepare for the fall elections. Jeremy will contact the chancellor about the matter.

7. We discussed the continuing attention to Stephanie Rowe’s coming out announcement in health class at South Middle School. The attention has slowed, judging from the Leader-Telegram letters, and no one has heard of any disciplinary consequences although it is likely that the controversy will have a cautionary effect on teachers who might include GLBT issues in class. Nowlan noted the common effect of student harassment when such issues are taboo. Heywood reported that she sent a letter to principal John Wallace expressing our interest in the case and readiness to be supportive in this case if the need arises. He has not responded.

8. We had a very short discussion of an alleged discrimination problem at Country Kitchen, but agreed to get more information and discuss at the next meeting.

9. Heywood reported that the website is now up to date. Bylaws, minutes, and contact information are all current. Dan Freund will continue to make the changes, as it seems easier for him to do it than to train one of us.

10. As we discussed fall meeting ideas, including the federal REAL ID and felon re-enfranchisement, we felt there was a myriad of voting- related issues. We discussed having a panel on several issues and then leaned toward having a half- day workshop of presentations and activities in late September or early October focused on ‘Fair and Unfair Elections– Locally, Regionally, Nationally and Beyond’ with collaboration from various other organizations, including campus organizations. Speakers might be faculty; Peace and Justice, WHYS Community Radio, and Amnesty International members; city clerk, and other experts. Board members should brainstorm specific topic and speaker suggestions for the July board meeting.

11. Heywood reminded the board that plans for the October NWEA Convention must be proposed now. Erik Guenther, state ACLU board president, has contacted Heywood that he is willing to speak this year. (He had to cancel last year.) Yes, we should ask him to do a presentation on the Bill of Rights or another related topic. Heywood will contact him and Cheryl Hopkins, from NWEA, about getting on the NWEA program. Heywood will get the contacts started and Buchholz will follow through.

12. Meeting was adjourned at 7:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Ann Heywood, secretary