Chippewa Valley Civil Liberties Union
Board Meeting Minutes for December 4, 2011
David Rice’s office, Eau Claire
Present: Zoe Bowman, Myron Buchholz, Shu Cheng, Collin Hawkins, Ann Heywood, Mildred Larson, Nicholas Passell, David Rice, Stephanie Turner, Beverly Wickstrom, Eleanor Wolf (presiding)
Absent: Joe Luginbill
President Eleanor Wolf called the meeting to order at 6:40 p.m.
Minutes of the September 11, 2011 meeting and of the Annual meeting on October 26 were approved as circulated.
Treasurer David Rice distributed his report. After deducting newsletter, mailing and dinner expenses at Houligans, the net from the Annual Meeting was $173.62. Current balance in the checking account is $1021.49 ($847.87 plus $173.62). On a motion by Nick Passell, seconded by Shu Cheng, the report was accepted.
Election of Officers:
The following officers were elected for 2012:
Stephanie Turner, President
Myron Buchholz, Vice-President
Ann Heywood, Secretary
David Rice, Treasurer
Stephanie would like us to continue to be visible in the community. We have tremendous support from Stacy Harbaugh from ACLU-WI. She noted in the past year our partnership with the Society of Professional Journalists on a free speech event on campus, the presentation of HOWL with discussion led by Ann Heywood at the Progressive Film Festival, the Freedom from Religion panel discussion on campus, tabling at Fighting BobFest and Chippewa Valley Pride, ACLU members at City Council discussion of Voter ID, and the Annual Meeting public program on Racial Profiling.
She suggested we need to monitor Voter ID issues and access to the State Capitol building and threats to the Freedom to Assemble.
The meeting brought in about 50 people. The CVCLU program received front page newspaper coverage the next day. Board members Eleanor Wolf, Mildred Larson, Ann Heywood, Zoe Bowman, and Joe Luginbill met with Stacy Harbaugh the next morning to discuss ways to improve the effectiveness of the dinner/fundraiser next year and ideas for activities for the chapter throughout the year. List attached at bottom.
Human Rights Day is December 10 and Bill of Rights Day is December 15. Zoe Bowman invited board members to join Amnesty International at The Goat on Saturday, December 10, from 1 to 4 p.m. for a session writing letters for prisoners of conscience.
New members’ concerns
Beverly Wickstrom expressed concern for Voter ID issues and suppression of the right to vote. She recommended keeping a strong focus, partnering with others and keeping a record of what we do.
Collin Hawkins noted that Organizing for America will have a strong focus on Voter ID. Rebecca Dobrez is Regional Field Director.
Other interested organizations: JONAH, Democratic Party, Senior Center. We need to focus on people with disabilities and the elderly.
Stephanie will find out from Stacy Harbaugh if the state has plans for a fact sheet on Voter ID.
Voter ID law concerns/plans
Beverly proposed working on problems caused by the voter ID law in concert with other concerned groups. Ann noted that there will be Special Registration Deputy training on Tuesday, December 6 at the Senior Center. Several board members plan to attend. Stephanie will contact Stacy Harbaugh about her (ACLU) recommendations for how to proceed. Stephanie appointed Beverly to compile a list of organizations working on Voter ID efforts; then the board did preliminary brainstorming of these groups. Stephanie will contact John Stedman of JONAH . We will have a “chew and chat” board meeting on January 26 with a bring-along meal at 6 p.m. followed by the multi-group meeting at 7, with snacks. The Unitarian Universalist Church is the favored site if available.
Collin reported that he has heard there are about 200 Republicans who have signed up for poll watching duty. A fair election will require Democrats to also come forward for this duty very soon.
Public School Holiday Programs
Ann noted that a traditional topic of the November and January meetings is the monitoring of area public schools’ holiday choral presentations. This project may still have merit but does not seem at the top of our current agenda. Interested board members may attend any concerts and report in January. Myron suggested next year we may want to write a letter to schools reminding them to provide inclusive, non-religious concerts.
Next regular meeting will be February 12 at David’s office.
Adjourned: about 8 p.m.
Contact allied groups to meet with us on January 26 at the Unitarian Universalist Church at 7 p.m.
Stephanie: Contact Stacy Harbaugh to find out if state has a fact sheet on Voter ID and for advice on how to move forward on the issue. Contact John Stedman about the Voter ID event on January 26.
All: Bring assigned foods for January 26 meeting.
Notes from Stacy Harbaugh about annual meeting and other chapter activities:
Annual Meeting and Event:
– have name tags at dinner
– introduce speakers at dinner
– have volunteer ambassadors “adopt” a speaker (and the ACLU staffer) to make sure his or her needs are taken care of, questions answered, introductions made, journalists introduced. Ambassadors who welcome newbies are good too.
– if a state office staffer is there, have index cards at the table at dinner for the staffer to answer during dessert. Staffer can give a statewide update too.
– if Tweeting the event, have a #hashtag name for the event. Announce the tag at the start of the event.
– brainstorm potential community sponsors to invite or to collaborate with in future events. Inviting other organizations to be a part of the event (or to pull in a speaker) can increase attendance and diversify the audience.
CVCLU board meetings:
– Have regular activist-centered meetings. The board could meet for planning first, and then open the meeting up to the public to take action on an issue. Speakers could be invited to explain why the issue is important. State office staffers could Skype in as speakers. There are perennially local, state and national petitions, action letters, etc. that people could do in addition to local organizing that connects to statewide campaigns (such as helping the ACLU’s legal department find individuals affected by bad state laws for litigation, supporting student alliances, organizing bus trips to statewide events, etc.)
– Encourage members to meet up at other community events and organizations’ meetings that are like-minded. It’s good for outreach, visibility and coalition building.
– The new president can have one-on-one meetings with board members to get a feel for where they are coming from and what their passions are. It’s a good way to identify worker bees, public speakers, social coordinators, activists and event logistics planners.
– Build in some social time for group bonding.
High schoolers’ hot topics:
– sex ed, Healthy Youth Act
– flag pledge (Memorial has had issue)
– consent and parental issues
– share stories about ACLU plaintiffs – youth are really captivated by stories of others their age who fought for their rights