Commissioner Meeting Minutes

Document Text Content: 

Minutes of the April 14, 2011 Meeting of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission



I.         Roll Call: Claypool, Eychaner, Gitchell (by phone), Morain Witt (by phone) Staff: Townsend

Public: Beverly Couch (Labor & Industry Chair, NAACP), and newly appointed ICRC Commissioners,

Randy Moore, Angela Williams, and Mary Ann Spicer


II.        Minutes from February meeting: approved by unanimous consent.

III.       Executive Director Townsend's Report

I.   Organizational changes at the ICRC- review of reorganization/reassignment of staff; discussion of volunteer mediator program; state fair booth discussed

2.  Processing standards-development; recommendation of review of other state civil rights

commissions standards

3.  PSE 1-CRS I reclassification

4.   Office changes- computers/office furniture -

5.  Press Release- Racial profiling case provided to Commissioners and attendees

6.  EEOC v. Hill Country Farms- press release and Complaint provided to Commissioners and attendees


IV.       Legislative Issues

    Budget for the Commission: Projected budget for upcoming fiscal year is $1,297,000, which is a

$138,000 reduction from FY2011. Discussed possible impact of reduction.


V.        Commissioner Reports

      Eychaner: Distributed brochures for the Iowa Matthew Shepard Scholarship Program; inducted into the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame on February 22, 2011 in the Capitol Rotunda which was attended by Claypool, Gitchell and Townsend

    Witt: Serving on the Judicial Nominating Committee for County; discussed Cedar Rapids implementation of dolphin mascot to use in outreach programs at elementary schools

    Gitchell: Attended LGBT Safe Schools Conference; MLK Scholarship Benefit along with Chapman, Claypool and Townsend; expressed appreciation for Claypool and Eychaner contributions

    Morain: Welcomed new Commissioners, intended to attend Iowa Matthew Shepard Scholarship benefit on June 3, 2011

    Claypool: Welcomed new Commissioners; expressed appreciation for departing Commissioners Eychaner and Gitchell and all the work they done on behalf of the ICRC; attended the following events since the last meeting: Symposium "Fall Out: Declaring War on Social Justice"; Univ of Iowa, Journal of Gender and Racial Justice; Issues on Health & Equality for Black America Webinar; Leadership Conference on Civil Rights; Des Moines Human Rights Agency Symposium on Fair Housing; announced Grinnell College hosting Immigration Symposium; Celebrasian on May 14, 2011 on Capital grounds.  Commissioner Claypool reviewed highlights and positive changes seen at the ICRC during her 14 years of service as Commissioner  including increased profile of the ICRC to a force for change in civil rights; significant efforts to secure justice for individuals who have been discriminated against; 2005 celebration of 40th Anniversary of ICRA; 2007- passage of safe schools, anti-bullying Jaw; expansion of the ICRA to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected class status; 2008 increase of filing time period from 180 days to 300 days; receipt of HUD grants for housing testing by ICRC; settlement of numerous housing cases that provide education and monitoring of landlords; 2009 expansion of equal pay act to provide protection to all Iowans; 2007 VISTA program that provided jobs for young Iowans and significant numbers of outreach projects by ICRC; 2010 celebration of 20th   anniversary of ADA.  Claypool encouraged the Commission to frame what the ICRC does in economic terms emphasizing the value to Iowa of a diverse workforce; Claypool noted that population growth in Iowa has been primarily through increased minority populations and immigrants and the ICRC should work to facilitate integration of all Iowans and encourage valuing diversity; the ICRC should assist employers to recruit and retain minorities to positively affect the economic development in Iowa will be improved by a welcoming environment for all.  She acknowledged the supp01t of all the commissioners and directors she had worked with during her time on the Commission.  The attendees applauded Claypool's leadership and efforts on behalf of the ICRC.


VI.       Public Comments - None

 VII.      Adjournment