Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes

May 21, 2003

11:00 AM –1:00 PM

Waterloo Recreational Center, 2nd Floor

225 Commercial Street, Waterloo, Iowa

Call to order

Commissioner Alicia Claypool, Vice-Chair, called the meeting to order.

Roll call

In attendance were: Commissioners Alicia Claypool, Rick Morain, Tim Tutt, Maria Waterman via conference phone, and Dinh VanLo via conference phone. Staff members present were: Corlis Moody and Araceli Goode

Recognition of Public and Press

Commissioner Claypool welcomed the Waterloo Human Rights Commission members Warren George and Executive Director Walter Reed in attendance. Lynnett Watson, Chair of the Cedar Falls Human Relations Commission was also present.

Walter Reed thanked the Commissioners for coming to Waterloo and proceeded to present what the Commission was accomplishing this busy year.  Some of their accomplishments were: revising the complaint process for better service; the Outreach Programs included establishing of Study Circles, forming the Cedar Valley Appreciation Team, forming Public Policy Roundtables which are focus groups in surrounding area that look into Racial Profiling and Disproportional Incarcerating, the Hate Crime Committee which contact victim, hold press meetings and provide support in dealing with actions of hate. They are holding the annual Race Conference for Community the third Friday in November. It is one day at the Community College. The Commission has put together PowerPoint presentation that deal with Title 7 and 8 issues, produced manuals on the Agency’s function and upgraded their pamphlets for employers for the teams that do training to hand out. They have completed the training of Police officers as requested by the Police Chief as well as for high school teachers and administrators. Education and outreach is as important as enforcement. Other projects are Diversity Training, Youth Initiative, Youth Conference in December 10, and recognizing people locally that are doing good work on civil rights issues.

Lynnette Watson, Chair of Cedar Falls Human Rights Commission addressed the commission at this time. The collaborative effort between Cedar Falls and Waterloo is being very effective.  Cedar Falls appreciates all the assistance being given by Walter and his Commission with Service training and in acquiring funding for the Block Grants. Iowa City Human Rights Commission has also assisted by doing a presentation on Sexual Orientation. Cedar Falls has also worked on new handbooks and did an internal review of their procedures.

Commissioners’ Reports and Subcommittee Reports:

Commissioner Alicia Claypool – Attended the Iowa League of Human Rights Agencies. They meet quarterly and have an annual meeting. It provides support to the Local Human Rights Agencies throughout the State. Their main concern at this time is funding of these agencies. They are working on contacting elected officials to provide relief. She spoke before the members regarding the GLBT Task force and asked their assistance in sponsoring Forums in their communities. (Complete Report under Old Business)

Commissioner Connie Gronstal – No report

Commissioner David Leshtz – No report

Commissioner Timothy Tutt – No report

Commissioner Rick Morain – Attended Media Education Conference held in Des Moines. Found it interesting and valuable. Congratulated the organizers.

Commissioner Dinh VanLo – Met with the Governor regarding the Asian Issues and changing legislation on the status of the Asian Affairs Commission. Will attend a meeting in Washington on Asian issues. The Asian Festival on May 16, 2003 was well attended.

Commissioner Maria Waterman – Report included in Commissioner Claypool’s

Approval of Minutes

January 9, 2003 approved as amended and March 13, 2003 Minutes approved.

New Business

No new business.

Executive Director’s Report

Director Moody passed the monthly reports to Commissioners present. Informed the commissioners the EEOOC contract had been awarded. Furthermore, IRCR was one of nine states selected to participate in the Mediation Pilot for EEOC.

Attended the Annual Des Moines Human Rights Commission Conference and found the Youth Future Matters very interesting. The Criminal Justice system needs help and the community-based programs are very necessary.

Met with the Oversight Committee, a group of 30 Legislatures. They are looking into merging the Human Rights Department, Civil Rights Commission, Elder Affairs, Blind and Deaf Commission and Schools. Answered a 15 question form that was turned in a week ago. Corlis introduced self and gave a brief background on the Commission. She did the statistics and then answered their questions. The Committee sees the Commission as an advocate and not as enforcement agency so explaining the work of the Commission was very important. When asked what the impact would be if the Local agencies did not exist, explained the workload would increase greatly if the locals were not available for people to file their complaints.

Attended the Affirmative Action Rally. Stated Commissioner Leshtz did an excellent speech. Lt. Governor Pederson was in attendance.

The Racial Profiling report has been completed. Will provide copies to all the commissioners. Will invite Kevin to come and speak at a future commissioners’ meeting.

Iowa Finance Authority Grant – Dawn Peterson wrote the grant. This $50,000 grant is to do 30 presentations in 10 different cities throughout the state on increasing minority home ownership.

Race Conference held May 15-16 here at Drake in Des Moines was well attended. Next year’s conference will be in Fargo. Tom Phillips and Tom West of Pioneer attended. Some of the sponsors were Pioneer, NAACP, Bankers Trust, and Outside In Foundation, Keynote speaker was Mayor of Wichita Kansas and Paxton Williams did his One Man Play.

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Old Business

Commissioner Claypool gave a brief history outline of the GLBT Taskforce for the guests of the Commission. Reported the Taskforce Committee had finished the report. Once draft reviewed and approved by the Commission, the finalized report will be distributed to list of people that should have this report to change the climate in the State on this issue. Motion was made by Commissioner Waterman and seconded by Commissioner Tutt that the ICRC adopt the proposed findings of the GLBT Taskforce to further improve the laws to protect and prohibit discrimination based on Sexual Orientation. Motion passed unanimously. Commissioner Waterman stated a forum had been scheduled for October 14 in Davenport and About Faces Group was lined up as part of the program.

Commissioner Claypool then reported on the GLBT Taskforce future plans. The taskforce has only volunteer staff from ICRC. To alleviate the work, the Committee decided to hire Brad Clark as Project Coordinator. Not all the money to fund this effort is in but Commissioner Claypool is working to obtain funding. They are looking for a location for the office as well. Plans for forums in Davenport, Waterloo-Cedar Falls are in the process plus 3 more. A 4-6 month lead-time is planned to put the forums together. The Committee proposed to the League of Human Rights Agencies that the Taskforce would provide the panel speakers and content of forum and the Locals would provide the logistics for the forums.

Next Meeting Date and Location

Next meeting date is July 17, 2003. Sally charged with contacting the Sioux City Human Rights Commission to inquire their availability to host the meeting.

Adjournment

Meeting adjourned by the Co-Chair, Commissioner Claypool.

                                                                     Submitted by Araceli Goode, Executive Secretary