Board Meeting – Minutes May 10, 2009

Chippewa Valley Civil Liberties Union
Board Meeting Minutes for 5.10.09 
David Rice office, 116 West Grand Ave., Eau Claire

Present: Ann Heywood, Mildred Larson, Nicholas Passell, David Rice.
Later: Eleanor Wolf, Myron Buchholz
Absent: Tom Ahrens, Shu Cheng

1. David called the meeting to order at 6:45 p.m.

2. Several topics were added to the agenda.

3. Mildred moved approval of the minutes as previously distributed.

4. Nick reported no change in the treasury since last meeting. Ann asked about when we last received rebates from state and asked if anyone knew of such rebates due to us. Nick will check with state. Nick and David will meet at RCU soon.

5. Ann reported on the March 28 state board meeting. Difficult financial circumstances for the ACLU-WI caused discussion of various alternatives and repercussions if financial goals are not met in the next few months.

6. Mildred reported on the cancelled ACLU-WI event on April 16 at Schlegelmilch House (due to poor RSVP rate and event conflict). Not knowing if anyone would show up, she and Nick were there and welcomed Dick Weld; they shared a few refreshments and conversation.

7. We discussed at some length the ACLU goal to get Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special prosecutor in the torture memos case. Mildred has forwarded an online petition from the ACLU. Eleanor urged that we circulate petitions locally. She will draft a petition and others on the board are welcome to propose drafts too. Myron also noted that Senator Feingold will hold a local listening session soon; we should attend and push for the prosecutor. All board members are asked to work on getting signers for the petition, thus engaging the public in building awareness and concern on the topic. Eleanor urged reading The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals by Jane Mayer.

8. We discussed program ideas for the NWEA Convention coming up in October. Mildred suggested doing something with how to handle controversial literature. She will contact Myar Schlusman and the intellectual freedom service at the Children’s Cooperative Book Center in Madison. Ann will contact Cheryl Hopkins about speaker forms and the proposal deadline.

9. We reviewed the March 26 panel presentation on campaign finance reform that we cosponsored with Wisconsin Democracy Campaign for which Ann was the moderator. The presentation was judged useful and interesting but too much dominated by WDC’s Mike McCabe. . The presentation, arranged by Eric Rosenquist, was too much a promotional for WDC and we had little control; our request for an honest debate among differing opinions did not develop since only people from similar views were on the panel. Since each panel member was not asked to prepare an opening statement, Ann had to prepare questions and try to balance panel participation. Tom Giffey from the Leader Telegram and Judge Benjamin Proctor were the other two panelists. In the future we will try to have more control of events that we cosponsor.

10. David opened the question of suitable topics for our annual fall meeting. Although we are not prepared yet to decide, Nick suggested a topic dealing with hard economic times and related civil liberties concerns.

11. Mildred reported that the Green Bay chapter is using Facebook and capturing some youth interest.

12. Ann reported on her recent visit to Memorial High School to talk with tenth graders who are preparing a persuasive speech about supporting community service organizations. She had discussions with 10 – 20 students, many of whom had never heard of the ACLU but who soon seemed to agree that our mission is worthy. Students took notes and received handout materials and contact information from Ann.

13. The next board meeting was set for July 19 at 6:30 at David’s law office, 116 W Grand Ave.

14. The meeting was adjourned about 8:10 p. m.

To Do
All members:
1. Review minutes and report suggestions or approval to Ann.
2. Collect petition signatures.
3. Attend Feingold listening session and ask for appointing a special prosecutor.
4. Recruit new member to the ACLU using envelope marked with “WIE.”
5. Note July 19, 6:30 for next meeting.
6. Suggested: Read The Dark Side.

Mildred: Contact Myar Schlusman about doing NWEA Convention presentation.
Eleanor: Draft petition for special prosecutor and contact our board.
Ann:
1. Post minutes.
2. Update website.
3. Contact Cheryl Hopkins about NWEA forms.
David:
1. Contact Tom Ahrens about board participation
2. Sign account papers at RCU.
3. Request response when emailing the agenda. Contact members by phone as needed.
Nick:
1. Sign account paper at RCU with David.
2. Check with Angie Vasquez about rebates.

Respectfully submitted,
Ann Heywood, secretary

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