Of Champaign County


Steering Committee

March 10, 2005



Present: Bill Brown, Carol Spindel, Ward Henson, Brian Issleb, Esther Patt, Harvey Welch, Rachel Dietkus, and Steve Shoemaker


Student chapter: Maeve Anderson, Nellie Waddell, and Vinay Tota


Absent with notice:  Stuart Laird, Stephen Portnoy, Shirley Stillinger, Susan Cohen, Gary Peters, Allan Levy, Kristin Solberg, Roger Clark, Harry Hilton, and Jay Rosenstein


The meeting was called to order by Bill Brown. The minutes were approved as distributed.




  1. The Emergency Contraception bill failed in committee. The vote was 5 for, 5 against, 1 abstention.


  1. The bill described by Esther Patt as “misinformed consent” died in committee.


  1. The so-called “Born Alive” bill was amended, through an energetic last-minute effort by Planned Parenthood so that it specifically stated that it did not infringe upon abortion rights.


  1. The Richard Clarke event was a huge success with standing room only crowds in both rooms and sufficient funding to pay his fee. All this was thanks to the hard work of Rachel Dietkus and the members of the student chapter.




  1. The treasurer’s report was given by Ward Henson and accepted.


  1. The student chapter successfully contacted teachers at Urbana High and are finalizing plans to speak with government and journalism classes there. They are also working on a membership drive.


  1. No Josh; no law student chapter report.


  1. Bill needs last-minute additions to the newsletter right away. He will put in something about the student chapter speaking program. Bill also brought up that it would be nice to have a program for the annual brunch in April.


Old Business:


    1. Plans for Annual Meeting: Members can RSVP either online or to the ACLU PO Box. There is no online payment option. Emails about payments should be sent to Ward. Hopefully, those who RSVP online will bring a check to pay at the door. The Steering Committee decided not to offer online payment at this time.

The DEADLINE for reservations is April 11. The cost is $18.00 per member.  $10.00 per student member. The brunch begins at 11:30 and the talk by Senator Richard Durbin will begin at 12:30. The SC decided to ask Shirley to introduce Sen. Durbin. There was some concern about a back-up speaker in case there is a national emergency and Sen. Durbin has to cancel. SC members are asked to think of suggestions. Rachel offered to do publicity for this event.


    1. The SC is trying to recruit 3 new board members but those appointments are not yet finalized.


    1. AWARDS:

The Stone Award will be presented to Dick Durbin as he is introduced.


The Chalmers Award has been awarded to Brooke Anderson for her many community organizing efforts (health care, women’s rights, GEO, anti-chief, etc.)


            4. The ACLU-IL Emergency Summit will be held at Hawthorne Suites in Champaign on April 9, 2005 from 9-3. The conference is free to members. Students who are not members are encouraged to contact Maeve at or 217-413-1883 if they are interested in attending and she can facilitate that.  Information/registration is available online at or at 312-201-9740.



    1. There was some discussion about citizen review boards for Champaign and Urbana police. Esther will try to get more concrete information about where that stands.


New Business



The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 pm.


Respectfully submitted,


Carol Spindel