Champaign County ACLU Steering Committee

Thursday, December 6, 2012

7:00 p.m.

Present: Bill Brown, President, Faruq Nelson, Bob Illyes, Mort Brussel, Shirley Stillinger, Carol Leff, Esther Patt, Richard Schnuer Diana Lenik, Marsha Woodbury


  1. Minutes of November meeting approved

  2. The Treasurer’s Report was approved. (Appended below)

  3. Announcements & Communications

    1. Report on December ACLU: Engage program in Chicago. There were five attendees from the local chapter. Overall, several hundred people, a fair number of them young. The issues discussed were considered useful but there was some discussion of the format. Bob Illyes pointed out that there was no opportunity for networking or discussion—even lunch had a speaker. Others agreed that there might have been more focused attention to specific action issues (workshops?) but that the occasion seemed more oriented to exposing newer people to the issues.

    2. Report on Fall Gathering. About 50 people attended, which is down from last year but normal for post-election. One note for next year: remember the value of hot food (pizza).

    3. Law school chapter report (none)

    4. Immigration Forum update— Community information and counseling sessions for DAC (Obama’s deferred action program) continue. The drivers license bill was held over to January, as Madigan failed to bring it to the floor even though it had easily passed the senate.

  4. Old Business

    1. Web site update. The website now has more links and photographs that make it more interesting and useful. We discussed adding further document storage features for key issues.

    2. Champaign County Community Justice Task Force progress report. Bill Brown circulated the progress report prior to the meeting. Recommendations in the progress reported were directed toward enhancing public discussion but also to the Institute for Law and Policy Planning (ILPP) consultant hired by the board to make proposals in spring/early summer 2013. Shirley discussed the sheriff’s letter about rethinking the old jail—and noted that the set-up is only maximum security regardless of offense. James Kilgore (on the community justice task force) wants to work for a redistribution of the public safety tax to achieve more than the current 5% allocated to prevention; social services need more funding, and more thought is needed about diversion programs.

    3. Tamms—the governor’s veto on the maintenance of the Tamms maximum security prison was not overridden.

    4. Next Social Hour Dec 19th at Destihl? We decided to rethink the social hour concept and not to hold the December 19th one.

  5. New Business

    1. FOIA requests on police complaints—discussion of the balance between officer privacy and public right to be aware of any abuses. For our purposes, the four-digit officer identification number may be enough (rather than the officer’s name) to discern whether there is a pattern of abuse by individual officers.There was the question of whether information on complaints are available only when discipline is imposed.

    2. Speaker for annual meeting in April—several possible speakers were discussed, including Professor Lori Andrews at Kent Law, expert on internet privacy, and

    3. The Champaign County Drone—With drug forfeiture money, the county sheriff bought a drone in 2008, although it isn’t operational because it keeps crashing. Based on extensive FOIAed information, Brian Dolinar’s article on this project and its implications appeared in November on the Independent Media Center website

    4. January meeting location at Clark-Lindsey (guest Zoe Schein, intern on the ACLU Prisons Project)

  6. Adjournment

Next meetings (2013):
Jan 3
rd, Feb 7th, March 7th, April 4th, May 2nd