Chippewa Valley Civil Liberties Union
Board Meeting Minutes for March 30, 2014
Herrick and Hart Law Office, 116 Grand Ave., Eau Claire
Present: Myron Buchholz, Shu Cheng, Ann Heywood (recording), Anna Lane, Mildred Larson, David Rice, Stephanie Turner (presiding)
Absent: Alida Markgraf, Sara Thielen, Paul Wagner
Guest: Virginia Wolf, President of the Affirmative Action Committee for the City Police and Fire Departments
- Stephanie called the meeting to order at 6:35 p.m. In consideration of our guest, the agenda was rearranged.
- Virginia Wolf met with us tonight in response to concerns we have about the almost non-existence of minority group members, such as Hmong, African Americans and Hispanics, in the police and fire departments. Virginia explained goals and procedures of the Affirmative Action Committee. She said they have a goal but not a quota based on Eau Claire’s various minority populations. Since the census numbers of these minority groups are low, the number goals are low too. The police chief and the fire chief are eager to recruit minorities. One former Hmong police officer left the department because of burnout since he found himself the go-to man for the Hmong community. The police chief realizes that one is not enough; two or three Hmong officers would be much better. The first challenge in hiring is testing and basic requirement of a high school diploma and 60 hours of college level work. From these requirements a pool of eligible candidates is formed. Then psychological and physical tests apply. The physical requirements are higher for fire fighters than for police officers. We currently have one Hmong firefighter, and one black and one Hispanic police officer. Virginia reported that the departments recruit all over the state, but candidates from the area, and especially those familiar with the Hmong culture, would be ideal. Training, pretesting, and testing are offered at CVTC.
- Mildred explained ideas she and Ann discussed yesterday about a local fundraiser for the ACLU and supporting the Wolf v. Walkerlawsuit. Virginia Wolf and Carol Schumacher will be two featured guests, as well as Emilio de Torre from state staff. Virginia suggested a Wednesday in May is best for her, and we selected May 14 as first choice. The fundraiser will have catered hors d’oeuvres. Time will be 5 – 7 p.m. We hope to find a few other gay couples to tell their stories about the Wisconsin marriage ban and/or the lawsuit as it affects them. We discussed various venues to check. Stephanie, Mildred, and Ann will work as a committee to go forward with plans. They will meet Thursday at 3 p.m. Ann will contact state for mailing labels.
- We also discussed arranging a Bill of Rights workshop for high school students with Emilio on the same day as the fundraiser. Myron felt that the focus on “search and seizure” would gather strong student interest. Myron will find suitable contact people at North High School so that they might participate in a workshop too. The workshops may work for up to 200 students and last for one period.
- Ann reviewed the minutes. They were approved as previously sent.
- David reported one transaction since our last meeting: the check to Chippewa Falls Printing Center for printing the annual newsletter has been cashed. Our balance is $5.01 in savings and $1354.18 in checking. Report was approved.
- Ann gave the state board report orally since the recent meeting was Saturday. She reported on ambitious fundraising goals for this year, the layoff of the Communications Director, and the closing of the Madison office. It is important that we truly seek to recruit new members and to help to identify, if possible, those who might be major donors to the ACLU in our area, now or a few years down the road. She reported that Larry Dupuis expects Judge Crabb to decide the marriage case relatively soon after May 19. No doubt it will be appealed if we win.
- New business: Ann reported on meetings she has had with librarians at the Eau Claire and Altoona public libraries about arranging for a Banned Books Week celebration in late September. The librarians are willing to work on a program. We discussed having high school students do the readings and include an introduction of why their book has been challenged and why they chose the book for the reading. Isa Small at Eau Claire also agreed to give an introduction that tells about current policies at the library and how they have been used to deal with challenged books. Ann will talk with the librarians again to move the plans along. Myron suggested contacting the Teen Literacy Initiative under the guidance of Pam Gardow at Memorial.
Ann also reported on the first meeting of the newly forming Moral Monday organization which seeks to take actions in the fight against poverty. A few members, under the coordination of Citizen Action of Wisconsin, met the next day at the Courthouse to appeal to Senator Moulton for support of the 10.10 minimum wage. Poverty issues are often related to civil liberties issues and the ACLU of Wisconsin has a Race, Poverty, and Civil Liberties department with a dedicated lawyer.
- The next regular meeting will be May 4, 6:30 p.m. at the Herrick and Hart law office.
- Meeting was adjourned at 8:20 p.m.
Stephanie, Mildred, and Ann meet to develop the plans or the fundraiser.
Mildred: check on availability of several venues.
Ann: follow up on Banned Books Week plans. Order mailing labels.
Myron: Find useful contact people at North High School.