Champaign County ACLU Steering Committee

Thursday, March 1, 2012

7:00 p.m.

April 1st, Annual Meeting at Milo’s

 Present: Bill Brown, Bob Illyes, Esther Patt, Richard Schnuer, Steve Portnoy, Carol Spindel, Carol Leff, Diana Leni 

Meeting discussion was accompanied by spring newsletter assembly.


1.     Minutes of February meeting were approved

Treasurer’s report: In current account, $3464.25 (with $100 having been appropriated for Safe Schools) (Safe Schools sponsorship of 3 anti-bullying documentaries and discussion at Champaign Public Library Wednesday April 4, 6PM-9PM

 2.     Announcements & Communications

a)     No Law School Chapter & Student Chapter reports

b)     Illinois Division Conference Call (2/14) moderated by Allie.

Issues included
--the Need to defeat of the ultrasound bill (to require women seeking abortions to get an ultrasound or refuse in writing—with the refusal form filed at the Illinois Department of Health)

--The eavesdropping issue (that is, the right to videotape public officials/police) is a popular issue with the ACLU base

Workplace privacy and the right to regulate/monitor use of social media

--Training available for how to observe protests as a potential witness, what to look for.  Training link will be circulated.

To register for the webinar on this issue April 26, the link is as follows

c)     Urbana police training & community meeting report—Esther and Bill reported on their experiences in different sessions of the program, noting considerable audience participation and some useful practical and motivational presentations. Anthony Cobb (not yet installed as Champaign Police Chief) and another officer were there.  A point that clearly emerged is that racial profiling has become so unpopular that the police themselves are backing away from it in favor of behavior profiling.   It was interesting to discover that the police felt they had no public or media support

 d)     Hiram Paley memorial – Sat March 10th 3-5PM at Illinois Terminal

e)     Sign up for April 14th Chapter Membership Recruitment Training:

 3.     Old Business

a)     The Hiram Paley resolution that Esther Patt developed from the state commemoration was approved as distributed previous to the meeting (appended below).

b)     ACLU is supporting the Jakobsson bill for "motion to dismiss" (HB 5292)

c)     Rights of demonstrators event—no planned event by the law school chapter

d)     Steering committee nominations and officers

Next year’s slate of officers:

President  Bill Brown

Vice President Carol Spindel

Secretary Carol Leff

Treasurer Stephen Portnoy

Steering committee

Mort Brussel

Rachael Dietkus-Miller

Bob Illyes

Carol Inskeep

Stuart Laird

Mark Leff

Diana Lenik

Faruq Nelson

Esther Patt

Richard Schnuer

Shirley Stillinger

Marsha Woodbury 

e)     Annual awards—note that it was subsequently discovered that Steve Schumaker had already received the award we proposed, so no awards were given this year.  However, at the meeting, we made arrangements for the plaque to be created by Awards Limited.  Carol Spindel agreed to arrange the PA system from the same group we used the previous year.  Steve and Carol Leff will staff the reservations table.

 4.     New Business

a)     Reorganization, discussion of additional roles / committees

The nominations committee also considered and proposed some changes to the organization and distribution of responsibilities.  Under the current unstructured arrangement, the president is too likely to be left with excessive responsibilities by default.

Some of the following responsibilities were defined and allocated

The Newsletter

The Website

Farmers Market table (and tables at other events)

Liaison with Local Organizations (Carol Leff is taking over the Immigration Forum liaison from Bill)

Monthly state ACLU conference calls (Bill will continue this for the time being as primary, will have an established back-up)


            We also discussed holding some more informal inexpensive or free events, perhaps at the IMC, because the two fixed gatherings are rather pricey.


Next meetings: 

April 5th, 3405 Siebel Center

Membership Recruitment Training Saturday April 14th, at the I-Hotel



Whereas, Hiram Paley served on the Steering Committee of the Champaign County chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union for 15 years; and

Whereas, Hiram Paley served as the Champaign County Chapter representative to the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois Board of Directors for many years; and

Whereas, Hiram Paley was awarded by the Illinois division of the ACLU the 2005 Roger Baldwin Award for a lifetime of commitment to civil liberties and fundamental freedom; and

Whereas, the Champaign County chapter of ACLU awarded its highest  honor, the Victor Stone Award for lifetime achievement in supporting civil liberties to Hiram Paley in 2011; and

Whereas, Hiram Paley served two terms on the Urbana City Council and a term as Mayor of Urbana (1973-1977) where he advocated for and signed into law a human rights ordinance that included protection of individuals based on sexual orientation – the first in Illinois at the time and one of the first in the nation; and

Whereas, Hiram Paley continued to be active in community events after his public service, including leading efforts to advocate for open housing and fair hiring practices in Urbana; and

Whereas, Mr. Paley was an active ACLU member and supporter, arranging meetings for the ACLU with local media and local elected officials, as well as continuing as an active participant in the work of the Champaign County ACLU Chapter; and

Whereas, Hiram Paley was a valued member of the mathematics faculty at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, from the time of his arrival in 1959 until his retirement in 2003; and

Whereas, Hiram Paley was actively involved in electoral politics, supporting candidates who were committed to the protection of civil rights and civil liberties and persuading candidates to adopt positions on issues consistent with the principles advocated by the American Civil Liberties Union;

BE IT RESOLVED, THEREFORE, that the Steering Committee of the Champaign County Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union recognizes the immeasurable accomplishments and contributions of Hiram Paley to the work of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois and extends its deepest sympathy to his beloved widow, Jean Paley, their children, Joshua, Elizabeth and Nina and their four grandchildren.