Champaign County ACLU Steering Committee


Thursday, February 3, 2011


7:00 p.m.


Room 3405 Siebel Building


Present: Bill Brown, Richard Schnuer, Carol Spindel, Carol Inskeep, Carol Leff,

Diana Lenik, Stephen Portnoy, Esther Patt, Dave Amerson (from the Law School ACLU chapter)


  1. Approval of minutes of December meeting
  2. Announcements & Communications

a)       The Victor Stone memorial service will be held at Clark-Lindsey on March 12 at 1:30 pm

b)       Phil Reese at Friday Forum March 11 at noon. We are co-sponsoring this talk  („Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Gender-Identity and Sexual Orientation issues in the Militaryš), which is part of the Friday Forum‚s semester-long focus on military issues.


  1. Old Business

a)       Update on racial profiling/traffic stops data

                                                               i.       Urbana Human Relations Commission Dec 8th

                                                              ii.       Todd Rent, Urbana Human Relations Officer, is undertaking  an „internal reviewš of police traffic stops.  Durl Kruse of  Citizens for Peace and Justice made a presentation at the December 8 Human Relations commission meeting on IDOT traffic stop statistics, but Rent has refused to meet with Citizens for Peace and Justice on this issue, which makes it important for the ACLU to demonstrate that other organizations are also engaged and interested. Bill Brown spoke on behalf of the ACLU at the December 8 meeting in support of the CPJs analysis and its recommendation for a joint committee to engage in ongoing review and monitoring of the data to assure racial equity in treatment of citizens during traffic stops.  The committee would be composed of citizens and representatives of the police, the Police Review Board, the city, and the  Human Relations Commission


b)        „Interacting with Policeš pamphlet Ų letter to Joan Walls and Mark Aber Ų The steering committee reviewed the draft letter designed to give the ACLU response to Champaign‚s advisory pamphlet on dealing with the police.  The hope was to make suggestions for future revisions of the pamphlet.  In particular, we discussed paragraph three in the draft letter, in order to emphasize the need to clarify what personal information a citizen was legally required (or not required) to provide to the police, and the legal risks of providing false information. We also discussed including links to websites on citizen rights.


c)        Update on help desk at the courthouse. The help desk has received sufficient temporary public and private funding to continue for about 10 months, coordinated by Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation. Thus it was able to reopen in January after shutting down November 2010.  Land of Lincoln is involved in managing the desk and its finances, but the local bar association does not wish to be involved.



  1. New Business

a)       Nominations and awards committeesųtwo current board members, Marc Ansel and Ward Henson, will not be continuing on the board and we will continue to pursue replacements.  Ward will be receiving the Norton award for service to the chapter at the annual meeting.

b)       Speaker & date for annual meeting ŲIt was agreed to further pursue  Former Chief Justice Marsha Ternus of Iowa as a speaker at the annual meeting by shifting the annual meeting date to May 1 if she would be available to speak on that date.

c)        Stephen Portnoy, as Treasurer, presented the annual financial report with a closing date of 31 December 2010.  It was approved, and it was agreed to formalize the procedure of approving an annual December report on the chapter‚s finances.

d)       Sex out Loudųwe also discussed having a table at the annual Sex Out Loud event (on sexual health and wellness) at the Illini Union April 29

e)       Dave Amerson, from the UIUC law school chapter of ACLU, informed us about some of the chapter‚s activities.


  1. Adjournment at 8:20.



Future meetings:

March 3, 2011

April 7, 2011