Champaign County ACLU Steering Committee
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Room 3405 Siebel Center
Those Present: Bill Brown, Stuart Laird, Mark Leff, Bob Ilyes, Barbara Kessel, Carol Leff, Esther Patt, Carol Inskeep, Marsha Woodbury, Diana Lenik, Mort Brussel
a) Law School Chapter & Student Chapter reports--none
b) Immigration forum update
The last meeting of the Immigration Forum was April 10. That Friday a follow-up meeting with the Sheriff’s office on immigration holds policy was scheduled. The Immigration plans a public forum in May at which the policy change will be announced. It was mentioned in our discussion that there is a private prison outside Chicago for immigration holds.
Two initiatives that the Forum is considering have broad policy implications
In the discussion, Diana Lenik noted that such a program might cut down on the number of fake drivers’ licenses.
Also noteworthy. The campus student group La Colectiva-UIUC is raising funds for scholarship assistance to undocumented students. A fundraiser was held April 18, but donations can also be made through Paypal
Their website link:
The Next meeting is May 15.
c) RBF donations sent by chapter for Hiram Paley (total $430, 8 people/couples)
d) Intake referrals-Bill Brown illustrated the type of referrals we handle with the following (three occurred in the past month):
1. Regarded a Danville correctional employee who was disciplined for calling the warden “spineless” on Facebook. We can’t intervene because there is a union grievance process for this case.
2. A Douglas County case that was too vague for action
a) Membership recruitment meeting at I-Hotel April 14 (Bill, Carol I, Carol S, Esther, Bob)
Those who attended summarized some of the key themes and issues, including ----the question of an aging membership and the different forms of engagement besides membership more appropriate to younger demographics—outreach to those younger groups that share ACLU values but don’t join organizations (free membership? More events? Encouragement of contact with officials on issues of concern.
--under the rubric “the courts are not our friends,” a shift in focus to the legislative front and mobilization around legislative action of civil liberties relevance
--the new umbrella theme “targets of intolerance” to cover the breadth of the ACLU agenda
b) Market at the square dates (Carol S)
The dates decided are
We discussed activities for the booth, such as quizzes and surveys on rights issues.
Including those who can name all the freedoms in the first amendment.
c) Website redesign update proceeding satisfactorily. We approved a payment to the web designer.
d) July 4th parade—we will sign up to participate this year.
a) County jail (Barbara)
The County Board has appointed a task force (below) to provide public input into the decision about county jail expansion
Community Justice Task Force dealing with the Jail Issue, and broader criminal justice issues
Tasked with making suggestions to the County Board
There was extended discussion of the proposed jail construction, based on Barbara Kessel’s report and the attached fact sheet. It is clear that current conditions (the amount of mental and physical illness, the climate control in the facilities, etc) are substandard, but not that further construction/expansion is the appropriate financial or policy strategy.
b) Goal for coming year – fall event(s), committee needed. Because of the time, this item was postponed until the June meeting.
June 7th – 4405 Siebel
Save the date:
Nov 17th – ACLU: ENGAGE