Chippewa Valley Civil Liberties Union
Board Meeting Minutes for February 12, 2012
David Rice’s office at 116 West Grand Ave., Eau Claire
Present: Zoe Bowman, Myron Buchholz, Collin Hawkins, Ann Heywood, Mildred Larson, Joe Luginbill, Nicholas Passell, David Rice, Stephanie Turner (presiding), Beverly Wickstrom.
Absent: Shu Cheng
Guests: Jeremy Gragert, Sara Adams
- Stephanie called the meeting to order about 6:40 p.m.
- Minutes of the December 4, 2011 were approved as emailed.
- David distributed the treasurer’s report. There have been no changes since the December report: $1021.49 in checking and $5.01 in savings. Report accepted.
- Visitor Sara Adams explained concerns about the possible use of surveillance drones by the local police department if the president signs the current Federal Aviation Administration budget bill just passed by the U. S. Senate. National ACLU posted (December 15, 2011 on the aclu.org website) a report with its concerns that current law is not strong enough for privacy protection and making suggestions to control drone use in domestic surveillance. Suggestions include the provision that at least warrants should be required and the use should be for emergencies only. Sara reported that Andrew Werthman is willing to propose a suitable ordinance to the City Council controlling drone use by local police, but the wording of such an ordinance is not ready. Sara will be meeting with the police chief to find out what policy or practice currently exists to protect privacy from drone surveillance. Current medial coverage is quite limited. DemocracyNow.org and the ACLU website are all she knows. Sara and visitor Jeremy Gragert are interested in providing an educational opportunity with the support of the CVCLU. Board consensus seemed to be that we need to learn more about the situation and discuss the matter again at the next meeting. The board discussed asking national ACLU for speaker suggestions and looking to our own local experts; we discussed whether a program should focus on domestic drones only or widen to other Fourth Amendment concerns. Should we host a panel presentation such as “New Technologies in Policing”? Board members agreed to research on who might be able to contribute to such a panel. Jeremy and Sara will continue to work on the specific local drone concern while the board seems more interested in a broader educational effort.
- Ann highlighted points from her recently emailed state board report and added information about income and financial policy on the state level. Her mailed report included information about new staff, board officers, a focus group report, and the upcoming Bill of Rights celebration on March 17 in Milwaukee.
- We discussed follow-up of our January 26 meeting called to coordinate local organizations working on photo ID. Collin does not yet have a definite answer about whether his leadership in the new Voting Rights Coalition will constitute a conflict of interest with his job with the Democratic Party. He suggested starting a website. The board wondered about the rumored cost of $22000 for UW-EC student IDs when only a dozen or two may be needed. Eleven students have paid for the ID so far. Other campuses have done a work-around. Milwaukee campus is not charging for IDs. Mildred said it is unconscionable for the ACLU not to protest the “poll tax” and proposes the CVCLU send a letter to the chancellor in protest, with copy to the student senate and Teresa O’Halloran, attorney UW-EC (Affirmative Action Office). Ann moved, Zoe seconded that Stephanie write the letter to the Chancellor. Motion carried.
- We discussed the upcoming Free Food Festival at UW-EC and whether we should get involved again this year. Ann reviewed the minutes about the event last year and noted that we had approved an expenditure for T-shirts, but the opportunity had not worked out. We did have a table with materials and drawing for a poster. It was a fun event last year but somewhat of a missed opportunity as well. It was too easy for students to learn nothing about their free speech and press rights. Stephanie will talk to Breanna Schossow, president of the student chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists to ask for a chance to work with students to improve the event.
- Stephanie asked whether the CVCLU wants to reserve a table again at this spring’s Fighting Bobfest North. Ann moved, Collin seconded that we spend $100 to reserve.
- Myron brought up the media contact list that he sent out recently. Stephanie asked Myron to contact Beverly to coordinate her list with his so it is ready to use for press releases.
- Next meeting will be March 25 at David’s office at 6:30.
- The meeting adjourned about 8:10 p.m.
Identify speakers suitable for a presentation on drones and other new technologies for domestic surveillance.
Stephanie: write letter to the chancellor about student photo IDs.
Talk to Breanna Schossow about Free Food Festival.
David: reserve table at Fighting Bobfest North.
Myron and Beverly: coordinate media contact lists.