Champaign County ACLU Steering Committee

Minutes for Thursday June 6, 2013

7:00 p.m.

Room 3405 Siebel Center


Present: Stephen Portnoy, president, Bill Brown, Bob Illyes, Carol Leff, Mark Leff, Diana Lenik, Marilyn Lindholm, Marsha Woodbury

  1.  Minutes of May meeting were approved
  2.  Announcements & Communications
    1.  Fall Gathering: Tom and Carol Spindel would be glad to host the gathering, and we will be checking with them to see if the proposed date of November 10 would be feasible.
    2.  The next conference call is Tuesday June 11

3. Old Business

  1.    UI Bookstore Public-I rack removed—the committee discussed and lightly edited a draft letter to the bookstore querying the end of Public-I distribution at UIB, with copies of the letter scheduled to be sent to relevant university officials.  The bookstore is part of the university/state public space, and distributes other free materials (The DI as well as real estate pamphlets).
  2.    July 4th Parade.  We have not yet received notice of our positioning in the parade, but once that it is clear we can e-mail the listserv to encourage the broader ACLU membership to join in marching.  Bill Brown, and possibly Esther Patt have materials from last year.  
  3.  Insurance requirement for public events on sidewalks--
  4.  Market in the Square  (June 22)

Scheduling for later August 24 date will be done over the summer.

  1.  New Business
    1.  Urbana Human Relations Commission is considering adjustments to the city policy regarding the use of criminal background checks or questions about criminal records on job applications.  The idea is “to strengthen compliance and enforcement efforts for a ‘prior conviction’ as a protected class.” (From the draft introduction of the potential revision) The concept is to prohibit such questions in the preliminary stages of an application, until an actual contingent job offer is made, and to limit use of such questions to cases where it is  “reasonably necessary” to normal business operations to have that information.  A related question is how the issue is treated in the taxi licensing process, since the Urbana process has historically matched its requirements with those of Champaign to allow for licenses that are valid in both cities.  The prior-conviction issue is currently under discussion in that context as well.
    2.  Fall gathering and issues for fall-- Bill Brown will follow up on the possibility of inviting internet privacy expert and Chicago Kent Law Professor Lori Andrews for a talk this coming year.  She was unable to do so last year.
    3.  Meeting dates for next year – Next year’s meetings will generally be on Thursday in Siebol Hall as in the past, but schedule conflicts dictate that the October meeting be rescheduled for the 2nd Thursday.  (Note: Since the Steering Committee meetings are open to the membership, it was agreed that the meeting schedule for the year, with times and places, could be posted on the website).


  1.  Adjournment  at 8:10

Next meeting:

Sept. 5