Annual Meeting 2009 – Minutes

Minutes for the CVCLU Annual Meeting, September 30, 2009

1.  President David Rice called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Community Room at the Altoona Public Library.

2.  Secretary Ann Heywood distributed several copies of the minutes of the 2008 meeting to those who wished to see them.  The minutes were accepted as presented.

3.  Treasurer Nick Passell reported that our previous balance of $241.33 has now increased to 565.67.  He thanked the anonymous donor of our recent newsletter expenses and reported that we received several donations in response to our request.  Details of receipts and expenditures for tonight’s fundraiser/dinner are not yet available.

4.  Rice introduced the present board members (Buchholz, Cheng, Heywood, Passell) and asked the candidates for the board–Stephanie Turner, Dan Perkins, and Mildred Larson, incumbent–to tell the audience a little about their civil liberties background.  After a call for nominations from the floor, the three were elected to the board by acclimation.  Their terms expire in 2012.  (Board member Eleanor Wolf was absent.)

5.  Rice and Heywood distributed copies of the Bylaws Amendment proposal dealing with dissolution of the CVCLU.  Rice explained that the amendment is a formality and does not portend an imminent demise of our organization.  The amendment passed 18-0.

6.  Larson moved to skip a review and questions of chapter activities to save more time for remarks from Laura Emir before our 7:30 panel discussion.

7.  Laura Emir, ACLU-WI Development Director, provided information on a range of ACLU-WI initiatives.  1) She recounted the special experience sitting in the Federal Court in Madison this summer listening to the ACLU-WI lawyers presenting their case for poor families in a housing dispute with the City of South Milwaukee.  The verdict was a victory for the residents of the housing complex.   2) She reported on difficult budget cuts earlier this year that have resulted in changes in the delivery of programs to youth.  Although the very successful program, “The Other America Tour,” has been suspended, staff has developed other ways to reach out to youth, including connections using Facebook and Twitter.  YouTube videos helped educate college students about their voting rights.  3) ACLU-WI attorney Karen Rodker has advocated for stimulus funds in South Milwaukee.  4) In the town of Krivitz, the ACLU is representing a man whose flag was confiscated because he was flying it upside down in protest.  5) Following a long legal battle, women’s prison conditions at Taycheedah are improving significantly.  The Court of Appeals has ordered changes to meet basic medical needs, and has instituted remedies with checks and balances to gross negligence and abuse.  6) The ACLU’s case for domestic partner benefits for city employees is still in progress as well as our case to support state budget legislation to extend a few basic rights to all registered Wisconsin GLBT domestic partners.  7) Prescription equity legislation was passed and will be effective January 1, 2010.  8) Rachel Maddow, CNBC commentator, was the speaker at the annual Bill of Rights Celebration last spring.  She earned her doctorate doing HIV/AIDS research work.  9) The ACLU-WI is training legal observers and poll watchers and is helping to develop a task force on racial profiling.

7.  The meeting was adjourned about 7:40 p.m..

Respectfully submitted by
Ann Heywood, secretary

Our program “The First Amendment vs. Parental Discretion” followed. Panelists, Laura Emir (ACLU-WI staff reporting on events in library challenges in West Bend, WI this year), Pam Gardow (Memorial High School Librarian), Tim Lane (a parent), and Leah Langby (Indianhead Federated Library System Young Adult Librarian) discussed library materials selection issues.  Members of the audience added questions and stories of their own experiences.

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