AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION
of Champaign County
June 4, 2009
Present: Paul Debevec, David Gehrig, Carol Inskeep, Stuart Laird, Carol Leff, Hiram Paley, Esther Patt, Stephen Portnoy, Richard Schnuer, Shirley Stillinger, Paul Wisovaty
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by the chair, Esther Patt. The minutes of the May meeting were approved as corrected: the spelling of Stephen Portnoy’s name was corrected and the report from the Illinois Division was expanded to say that the meeting was about finances and all the programs that are supported by donations.
Illinois Division report and legislative update
There has not been a meeting since our last meeting. Hiram urged people to send donations to the Roger Baldwin Foundation, ACLU, 180 N. Michigan, Suite 2300, Chicago, IL 60601.
The civil unions bill was not voted on this session, but both houses passed Rep. Jakobsson’s bill guaranteeing freedom of speech for state employees, including university staff.
There will be a chapter conference call on June 9. If you are interested in participating, email Esther for the phone number and access code.
The steering committee voted to be a partner in the Safe Schools Alliance.
Racial profiling data: Esther distributed traffic stop data for Champaign, Urbana, and Chamapign County for 2007. It is obvious that there were disproportionate stops and consent searches of minorities;. the disparity is glaring. There was extensive discussion. Paul Debevec reported a conversation with Randall Cotton from C-U Citizens for Peace and Justice, who said that the issue of traffic stops has not come up at meetings of the African-American police advisory committee. Esther reported that the national ACLU has called for stopping consent searches. David suggested talking to the local NAACP for their views on traffic stops and consent searches. Richard will try to get police analysis. Our meeting with other concerned groups was discussed. Esther will contact Ed Yohnka for suggestions and report to the steering committee by e-mail.
Taser use by Champaign Police: C-U Citizens for Peace and Justice has asked us to join a coalition against tasers. There was consensus agreement to join them.
Surveillance cameras in municipalities: national ACLU is opposed to Homeland Security’s setting up surveillance cameras in cities around the country. The only such cameras in Champaign are around the City Building and the police department. David will find out about cameras in Urbana and Carol Leff will file a FOIA for the location of surveillance cameras at the U of I.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 p.m.
NO MEETINGS IN JULY AND AUGUST