Chippewa Valley Civil Liberties Union
Board Meeting Minutes for May 8, 2011
116 W. Grand Ave. Eau Claire, WI
Present: Myron Buchholz, Shu Cheng, Ann Heywood, Nick Passell, Dan Perkins, David Rice, Stephanie Turner, and Eleanor Wolf
Absent: Zoe Bowman, Mildred Larson
President Eleanor Wolf called the meeting to order at 6:45 pm.
The minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as emailed and posted on our website.
David distributed the treasurer’s report showing a balance of $841.06 in our RCU
checking account and 5.01 in the savings account. Disbursements since the last meeting were $100 for a table at Fighting Bobfest on May 21 and $108 for our new CVCLU banner.
Ann and Eleanor reported on the screening and follow-up discussion of HOWLduring the on campus Progressive Film Festival, April 9. About 30 people attended the event, more than is usual for most of the festival films, Stephanie noted. Ann led the discussion, which focused on the censorship issues, the poem, and the film. Ann mentioned the Banned Books Week event in September, also focusing on censorship. Dan suggested asking audience members at events like this how many of them are ACLU members and supplying new member materials. The board agreed this would be a useful practice. Stephanie will submit an invoice for the $200 commitment we made for the showing.
Eleanor reported on the debate sponsored by the campus Free Thought Society and the CVCVLU between Dan Barker (from the Freedom From Religion Foundation) andPastor Wade Duroe, Crossroads Church, Chippewa Falls on April 14 in Schofield Auditorium. Keith Cormany was the moderator.About 100-150 people attended for a spirited debate, sometimes focused on Separation of Church and State and sometimes digressing into debate over atheismvs. Christianity. Both speakers supplied many details from history and law. The CVCLU was credited as a co-sponsor. Since the event ended up having little planning input from the CVCLU and was put together by the Free Thought Society in a short time frame, Eleanor paid for Barker’s motel stay and did not pass the cost on to the CVCLU as previously planned.
Stephanie reported on the “Free Food/First Amendment Rights” event on campus on May 4, sponsored by the CVCLU and the Society for Professional Journalism. It was the first time for display of our new ACLU Chippewa Valley Chapter banner. Stephanie felt the position facing the street gave good visibility. Stacy Harbaugh, ACLU Madison staff, brought materials for our table when she came for a presentation at the Unitarian Universalist Church last Sunday. She brought an ACLU poster that was raffled off to students who gave their email address, which has been forwarded to Stacy for ACLU information alerts. She also supplied copies of the International Declaration of Human Rights. We did not have shirts that included the CVCLU logo for the occasion, so no expenditure was made as previously discussed. Pizza was donated by food service. Stephanie reported that the event was lively and fun. Stephanie, Dan, Mildred, and Shu staffed the table. The board discussed several ideas to improve the event, such as having a predetermined time of detention without rights (such as at least 10 minutes), wearing colored hats to designate who has no rights and who is boss, and having t-shirts that say “I did not forfeit my free speech rights for food.” Board members can suggest other ideas, and Dan offered to forward them to Dave Gordon, adviser for the Society for Professional Journalism. CVCLU will reimburse Stephanie $20 for a frame she purchased for the ACLU poster.
We discussed plans for Bobfest, May 21 at Northern Wisconsin Fairground. We will have a table there with ACLU sign up sheets, membership envelopes, and other materials. Stephanie will contact Stacy Harbaugh, who is also attending, about bringing materials. Staffing the table will be done by Stephanie ((8:30 – 10:30), Myron (10:30 – 12:30), and Ann and Shu (12:30 – 2:30) and other board members as needed. Eleanor suggested a drawing, if possible. If possible Myron will get a cup with “disappearing” Bill of Rights when cup is hot. We should check into getting CVCLU t-shirts for similar public events in the future.
We discussed a letter from Kelly Harm about the Westboro free speech case, recently decided by the Supreme Court, and detailed response to Kelly emailed by Stephanie with copies to board members. Stephanie will follow up with another email to Kelly to include points from the board discussion.
Ann emailed a report on developments at ACLU-WI, which included information about efforts to engage national in developing responses to attacks on civil liberties, voting rights, prisoners’ rights, and more that are emerging in multiple states. Also noted, Mildred and Ann are among the six state board members who will represent the Wisconsin affiliate at the ACLU Biennial Conference in Orlando, June 11-13.
Dan introduced several ideas to help us better meet our By-Laws requirements to recruit (and involve) ACLU members. He suggested being more open about who we are, giving out contact information, etc. He asked about how members have access to information about our agenda, meeting time, and minutes of meetings. Ann reported that the minutes are available online, but that our website does not currently have a link for agendas and she does not know how to write computer code to do that. There are telephone numbers of president and secretary and email address for president. The board did not resolve the questions about how much more and what kind of communication is feasible for regular board meetings. We agreed that emailing some reports before meetings may be useful for discussing what to do in follow-up, but generally email reports will not replace the usefulness of discussions at meetings.
The next meeting is scheduled for July 17, 6:30 p.m. at David’s office.
Meeting adjourned about 8:10 p.m.
Board members: Help staff Bobfest table as needed. Send any new ideas for next year’s Free Food event to Dan. Think of ideas for the fall annual meeting.
Dan: Forward ideas for the Free Food/First Amendment Rights event to Dave Gordon.
Ann: Staff Bobfest table from 12:30 to 2:30. Bring sign up form. Write minutes and post on website.
Stephanie: Set up and staff the table at Bobfest from 8:30 to 10:30. Contact Stacy Harbaugh about bringing materials and possibly a raffle item like a cup. Write follow-up email to Kelly Harms. Submit invoice for Howl screening.
Myron: Staff the table at Bobfest from 10:30 to 12:30.
Shu: Set up and staff the table at Bobfest from 12:30 to 2:30.