Champaign County ACLU Steering Committee

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Convened 7:00 p.m.

Present, Bill Brown President, Mark Leff, Carol Leff, Carol Spindel, Carol Inskeep, Stephen Portnoy, Mort Brussel, Esther Patt, Faruq Nelson, Diana Lenik.

  1. Approval of minutes of January meeting—will be approved at March meeting

  2. Announcements & Communications

    1. Michelle Alexander, author of the New Jim Crow, will be speaking at the Illini Union February 20th at 6PM

    2. February 28 - March 2 - Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) and Efficacy Now are sponsoring a series of events the weekend of late February early March: Thursday, Feb. 28, Levis Faculty Center (919 W. Illinois St., Urbana) Friday night, March 1, Salem Baptist Church (500 E. Park St., Champaign). The program, tied in with the campaign regarding the proposals for the county jail, will deal with the failed war on drugs and the need to provide treatment rather than incarceration for users.

    3. Communications: The Chapter call dealt with two ACLU-supported state laws-- marriage equality bill, which was scheduled for official passage in the Illinois Senate on February 14 (Valentine’s Day!); and the state passage in January of the temporary drivers license legislation that allows undocumented immigrants the opportunity to legally obtain a license. ACLU members were also encouraged to write and post to the state website a note on “why you belong to the ACLU” Also noted in the chapter call was the successful outcome Juvenile Justice suit, settled in December when the US District court approved a remedial for the facilities, and the permanent court injunction against the Cook County States Attorney’s office to prevent their prosecution of ACLU staff for audio-recording police officers performing their public duties in a public place. The finding is unfortunately rather specific to the ACLU case, but a victory for the principle of public accountability nonetheless.

Bill Brown also reported a complaint received about harassment by Jehovah’s witnesses, which did not appear to be in our purview.

    1. Immigration Forum update –IF is focused on preparation for the implementation of the new state drivers’ license law permitting the undocumented to drive legally (due to go into effect January 1 2014) and on support for comprehensive immigration reform at the national level.

    2. Law school chapter report—none submitted

  1. Old Business

    1. The Champaign County Drone –the county drone is broken, but the Sheriff is seeking support for a new one. Several state legislators (including Chapin Rose and Daniel Biss) are sponsoring legislation to regulate aerial surveillance and limit drone usage to crisis situations and those for which a warrant has been obtained. (Bill status:

    2. FOIA requests on police complaints—News Gazette reporters continue to FOIA police regarding information on officer complaints. The police department was forced to turn over the officers’ names on complaints that are filed.

    3. Annual Meeting—the final decisions on venue and menu will be made before the next meeting and “Save the Date” postcards will be sent.

    4. Next Social Hour? It was decided to continue with the social hour, and to include the next date on the Save the Date postcard.

  2. New Business

    1. 65th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in the McCollum case March 7 - "The Lord Is Not On Trial Here Today" screening and panel discussion at UIUC NCSA Auditorium. Because of this, the next ACLU steering committee meeting will be held March 14 instead of the 7th.

    2. Farmers Market—there are new regulations for tabling at the Farmers Market, including a discount for pre-season rentals and an annual fee. We approved a continuation of this activity for summer 2013.

    3. Sex Out Loud—The annual event, providing free resources and information on sexual health, is scheduled this year April 25 8-noon at the Illini Union. We discussed the positive experience of past years’ participation, but it wasn’t clear who might be available to table at this year’s event.

    4. Suggestions for awards—the awards committee solicited suggestions for the Stone, Norton and Chalmers awards. The committee will be circulating its recommendations before the next meeting.

  3. Adjournment at 8:07PM

Next meetings:

March 14th

April 4th

May 2nd