Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes

October 10, 2002

10:00 Am – 12:00 PM

ICRC Office

Call to Order

David Leshtz, Chair called the meeting to order.

Roll Call

Present were Commissioners David Leshtz, Alicia Claypool, Connie Gronstal, Maria Waterman, Tim Tutt and Dinh VanLo. Also present were Corlis Moody, Executive Director, Ron Pothast, Business Manager, Rick Autry, Assistant Attorney General and Araceli Goode, Executive Secretary. The Chair, announced the governor had appointed Rick Morain from Jefferson, Iowa to complete resigned Commissioner Gilberto Solivan’s term. Commissioner Leshtz stated he had invited Rick to attend the meeting and was looking forward to meeting him.

Recognition of Public and Press

No Press was present.

Guest speaker Professor Herbert Strentz, teaches undergraduate courses in news reporting and communication law and ethics and graduate seminars in social responsibility, information policy and research and writing at Drake University. He regularly contributes essays and opinion pieces to newspapers and magazines and writes a column on First Amendment issues for the Iowa Newspaper Association. He was executive Secretary of the Iowa Freedom of Information.

Dr. Strenz’s presentation was on the problems journalists face when writing or reporting on events versus the issues of privacy, constitutional rights and civil rights. In regards to promoting the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, he stated the public needed to be educated about what the Commission is and what it was doing. His suggestions were to invite newspaper reporters to the meetings, send out press releases and contact the Iowa Newspaper Association and possibly attending its annual meeting. He recommended that the Commission continue to hold meetings outside of Des Moines.

Approval of Minutes

Motion was made by Commissioner Claypool and seconded by Commissioner Waterman to approve the August 8, 2002 Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes. The motion passed unanimously.

Commissioners’ Report and Sub-Committee Reports

Commissioner Claypool – attended the Friends of Civil Rights Award Luncheon. October 3, 2002. The people honored were impressive. Stated had met Eddie Moore and suggested he be asked to speak at a future Commissioners’ Meeting.

Commissioner Leshtz – Invited everyone to the White Privilege Conference.

Commissioner Gronstal – No report. Voiced appreciation for all the e-mails to keep her informed on what was occurring.

Commissioner Tutt – Will be speaking at Central College in Pella on October 28 and 29 regarding sexual orientation.

Commissioner VanLo – Stated was proud to be an Iowan and an American. Pleased would be working on the Iowa Civil Rights Commission as civil rights has paved the way for ethnic people.

Commissioner Waterman  – Attended a candlelight dinner for the AIDS Project.

Commissioner Leshtz encouraged the rest of the commissioners to post their e-mail addresses on the ICRC website. Passed copies of newspaper articles regarding the Iowa City Human Rights Award Banquet on September 26 and the award received by Heather Shank, Director.

Executive Director’s Report

Corlis Moody, accompanied by Molly Culbertson, attended the first NABRE Steering Committee meeting October 4, 2002. She will be assessing the availability of facilities to possibly have the next NABRE Regional conference here in Des Moines sometime in May or October of 2003.

At the EEOC conference in April 30 –May 2, mediation was being encouraged as a means for faster case resolution. ICRC submitted a proposal to EEOC for a contract mediating EEOC cases. These would be paid for separately from the investigation contract. ICRC is the only FEPA agency in this region that has an in-house mediation unit. This may help next year’s agency budget.

Sub-Committee Reports

Action: Commissioner Claypool updated the Commissioners on the GLBT Taskforce Committee work so far. She attended the Local Human Rights Commissions Association and gave them a summary of the work being done by the taskforce. Extended them the invitation to participate in upcoming events and to be partners in the advocacy regarding Sexual orientation.

The taskforce submitted a grant request from the Humanities to cover the costs of the forum. The costs of the packets so far have been absorbed by Rich Eychaner, Task force member. Meeting of the Taskforce is scheduled for this afternoon at which time requests for sponsorship from a prospective bank will be discussed.

New Business

Following a discussion, Commissioner Leshtz made a motion and Commissioner Claypool seconded to write a letter of support to the Iowa Utilities Board to pursue a statutory amendment to allow expansion of the Iowa Utilities Board’s equipment distribution program to people who have physical and cognitive disabilities.

Following a discussion, the commissioners agreed to review the past legislation and Resolution on Sexual Orientation and place on the agenda for the next meeting.

The Rules will be e-mailed to commissioners to review and will be on the agenda for the next meeting.

A member of the Iowa Asian Commission will be invited to a future meeting.

Old Business

Commissioner Leshtz stated that he had sent a letter to the Burlington Human Rights Commission and the Burlington City Council on September 16 in support of the addition of sexual orientation to the Burlington civil rights ordinance. The Burlington City Council has since rejected the recommendation.

Next Meeting Date

Next meeting date is November 18, 2002, 10:00 AM-12:00 PM. Will check with West Des Moines Human Rights Commission on their availability to host the meeting. Otherwise, the meeting will be at the ICRC office.

Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 11:55 AM

                                                                        Minutes submitted by Araceli Goode, Executive Secretary