Meeting of the CVCLU Board
Little Niagara Room, UW-Eau Claire
February 12, 2017
Present: Ann Heywood (chair), Lyndsey Brandrup, Myron Buchholz, Mildred Larson, Anna Leffel, Teresa O’Halloran, David Shih, Paul Wagner, David Edwardson (guest), Mohammad Alasagheirin (guest), Kailee Berg (guest), Charlie Huff (guest), Mohamed Eissa (guest), Wael Tawy (guest), John Wiltrout (guest), Mildred Wiltrout (guest)
Chair Heywood called the meeting to order at 6:32 pm.
The minutes of the CVCLU Board meeting of January 8, 2017 were approved.
Treasurer Buchholz reported no new activity. Paul Wagner reports that he has not been invoiced for a CVCLU table at Senior Americans Day.
Mildred Larson made a motion that Kailee Berg be accepted for membership on CVCLU Board, Myron Buchholz seconded. The motion was approved without dissent.
Mildred Larson made a motion that the Nomination Committee recommends a list of potential Board members with formal nominations by the next meeting. David Shih seconded. Mildred Larson, David Shih, and Teresa O’Halloran agreed to serve on the Nomination Committee. Candidates whose names are recommended by the Nomination Committee will serve for the rest of the year and then run again in the fall. If Board membership will exceed nine members, a bylaw change may be necessary. Ann Heywood stated that she would like to see a contested election.
The Board discussed updates to the Hussain Saeed Alnahdi murder case. Ann Heywood reported that Menomonie PD Chief Eric Atkinson contacted her. He stated that the PD did not have anyone witnessing the crime closely enough to determine whether a hate crime was committed and that it is hard to get that kind of information short of a confession. Ann Heywood will work on a letter to the DA of Dunn County, Andrea Nodolf. Ann Heywood reported that Atkinson asked if CVLCU could “help” with policy for tenants who are evicted when they are the victims of a domestic abuse or drug incident. Ann asked interim State ACLU Executive Director Molly Collins for guidance.
The Board discussed the CVCLU brochure. Ann Heywood sent the brochure to Kristen Hansen at state ACLU. ACLU “rebranding” will make us want to redo the brochure. Stephanie Turner volunteered to get a student technical writer to help. Mildred Larson asked more white space in the brochure. Teresa O’Halloran asked us to clarify what we want to do with the written piece, and Ann Heywood said that the purpose was to recruit new members. Ann Heywood said that we need to work on content and layout but need to make changes quickly.
Mildred Larson made a motion that the Board allocate $50 as a stipend for a technical writing student to make revision, Paul Wagner seconded. The motion was approved without dissent.
The Board discussed the state of racial profiling in the area. Questions asked included, “How is the PD collecting data on race?” and “Is there a protocol?” Mildred Larson suggested that the Board consult with state ACLU on how they work with PDs to collect race data. It was suggested that the Board contact three county police departments to find out what their protocols are.
Ann Heywood reported that the Membership Committee has not formally met. Anna Leffel volunteered to join membership committee. Myron Buchholz nominated as Chair of Membership Committee, and he accepted.
Mildred Larson asked the Board to plan for upcoming events, including meeting the new executive director of state ACLU (late April, early May) and working with Emilio DeTorre on legal observer training. These events will help to create networks of activists, make people feel empowered, and help them feel as though they are “doing” something. David Edwardson, Mildred Larson, and Lyndsey Brandrup volunteered to work on legal observer training. Ann Heywood asked if the Board can recruit from UW-Stout for the DeTorre visit.
Paul Wagner reported some trolling on a CVCLU Facebook post. The Facebook group is a closed group but people who are interested in CVCLU can join and do not have to be members.
Ann Heywood will ask for a printout of CVCLU roll from State ACLU. Paul Wagner will look into having two different FB groups. The official name of the Facebook group is Chippewa Valley ACLU Chapter. David Edwardson, David Shih, and Wael Tawy volunteer to help with FB groups.
The Board discussed budget matters. Ann Heywood reported that the CVCLU will probably be getting more money because of rebates from state ACLU. She said that the Board still needs to plan more about money, including raising money. She said that only donations to the Foundation are tax deductible. John Wiltrout suggested tabling this item until the summer and that the Board needs to find opportunities for fundraising.
The Board discussed the UW-EC teach in on February 17. Stephanie Turner is having a teach-in but is not asking for CVCLU participation.
Ann Heywood reported on her visit to the Somali community in Barron. Ann Heywood, Myron Buchholz, and two others met a Somali immigrant and Jennie-O employee in Barron, who reported that he is satisfied with policing and that the school district is meeting their needs. CVCLU now has a contact with the Somali community in Barron. The Barron Somali community will host a meal at the Barron High School on March 30 at 6:00 pm.
Ann Heywood reported on speaking with a teacher in Independence. The staff at the teacher’s school are very concerned about what to do for children whose parents are taken away. Parents were told to make legal documents concerning who should be guardian in their absence.
Ann Heywood reported on hate graffiti on an Eau Claire bridge that included the n-word and a swastika. The graffiti was reported to the police and the Southern Poverty Law Center. David Edwardson added that similar hate speech was found in the parking lot of the Governors residence hall at UW-Eau Claire.
John Wiltrout reported that he wants to begin a fact-finding mission with local police, sheriffs, and mayors regarding their positions on federal laws regarding immigration enforcement. He asked for specific questions to ask from Board members, stating that the CVCLU should want to know where these institutions stand on this issue.
David Shih made a motion to authorize John Wiltrout to perform a fact-finding mission on behalf of the Board to discover what plans, if any, local law enforcement organizations have in place if they are asked to enforce federal immigration mandates. Teresa O’Halloran seconded. The motion was approved without dissent.
Ann Heywood reported on the State Board meeting. She described a feeling of “joy” because of the increase in ACLU membership. The state ACLU is suing Lincoln Hills/Copper Lake Juvenile Detention Center for inmate abuse. The next executive director of state ACLU will be announced Thursday, February 16, and will begin their term on April 1. ACLU membership and state ACLU membership has doubled (to more than 12,000). The ACLU has more than a million members nationwide. The ACLU wants to step up its program to empower its members to build a better society. CVCLU has 301 “mailing label” members (could have more than one in a household), and membership is growing.
Mildred Larson announced that there will be a reception at her home on Wednesday, February 22, for State Superintendent candidate Tony Evers.
Anna Leffel reported that Memorial HS students wearing hijab have been harassed by students. She said that she will help them to report, but they have not yet agreed.
Teresa O’Halloran made the motion that the meeting be adjourned, Mildred Larson seconded. The motion was approved without dissent, and the meeting adjourned at 8:37 pm.