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Unapproved Minutes – Meetingofthe Iowa Civil Rights Commission, July 9, 2021
I. Roll Call -
Commissioners: Justin Johnston, Sam Kooiker, Patricia Lipski, Dennis Mandsager, Marcelena Ordaz, Holly White.
II. Recognition of Staff, Public, and Press -
Staff: Charles Hill, Jacob Bennington, Mikayla Bennett, Katie Fiala, Brenna Borman, Roberto Rodriguez-Peterson, Kerry Hainline, Sierra Walker, Kaitlin Smith
Rachel Large, Civil Rights Specialist, Amy Quail, Andrew Stutz, Lindsey Rawson Van Wyk, Samantha Nordstrom, Reece Elphic, Austin Moore, Anne Johnson, Sarah-Rose Ballard
Public: Rachel Campbell, Debra Stewart, Thomas Collins
Press: Tom Lawrence, Iowa Information Newspapers
III. Approval of Minutes -
Minutesfrom meeting on May 14, 2021, were presented. The Commissioners had some questions regarding the contents of the minutes and the posting of the minutes on the Commission’s website. The motion totable the approval of the minutes until the next meeting wasmadebyCommissioner Lipski,secondedbyCommissioner Johnston.Approved by vote. Motion carried.
IV. Interim Executive Director’sReport – Charles Hill
a. Update on Office/COVID-19 – Staff is back in the office, and a formal work-from-home program based on production standards has been put into place.
b. Update on status of permanent Executive Director Search – Informed that the Governor planned to appoint a permanent Executive Director within the next two weeks.
c. Update on federal contracts – HUD contract year finished with a total of 119 housing investigations completed, down from last year and approximately 21 investigations short of the Commission’s self-imposed goal of 140 investigations. The EEOC contract year concludes at the end of September, and the Commission is currently on track to meet that goal.
d. Introduction of new employees.
e. Update on potential reclassification of pay grade for Civil Rights Specialists – Charles has a planned meeting with a deputy over at the Iowa Department of Administrative Services to discuss possible options.
V. Update on Summer Intern Program – Sierra Walker
a. Supervised six interns
b. Interns completed 20 screening reports, edited and updated the legal citations in the law blurb bank, shadowed mediations, shadowed interviews, attended a public hearing.
VI. Litigation and Case Law Update – Katie Fiala
a. Judicial review on equitable tolling on a complaint was found in favor of the Complainant. Neither party appealed, so the complaint was sent back to the Commission for administrative processing.
b. One housing case assigned to Court of Appeals rather than the Supreme Court.
c. One public hearing was held before an Administrative Law Judge from the Department of Inspections and Appeals
d. One housing case to go to trial in Davis County at the end of the month.
e. Two Iowa Supreme Court case decision were issued that involved the Iowa Civil Rights Act., Rumsey v. Woodgrain Millwork and Godfrey v. Brandstad.
VII. Outreach Update – Andrew Stutz
a. ICRC employees attended events at the Governor’s Conference on LGBT Youth and Dallas Center Grimes Middle School
b. Coordinated presentations from Disability Rights Iowa and One Iowa
c. Upcoming events: World Food Prize, Latino Heritage Fest, Celebrasian, and Cedar Valley Pride Fest. Also speaking at more law schools and producing targeted radio ads.
VIII. Overview on employee retention – Kaitlin Smith
a. Discussion of the changes of processes and hiring standards over the past ten years.
b. Commissioner Kooiker requested further data and motioned to table the discussion until the next meeting in the interest of time. Commissioner Lipski seconded. Approved by vote. Motion carried.
IX. Discussion Forming Commission Workgroups – Charles Hill
a. Motion to continue discussion on workgroups until next Meeting made by Commissioner Kooiker, seconded by Commissioner White. Approved by vote. Motion carried.
X. Commissioners’ Reports–
a. Commissioner Johnston – Nothing to report.
b. Commissioner Kooiker – Nothing to report. Would like the next agenda to have a more complete listing of events the ICRC will be participating in and a specific discussion on some big events available for the fall and registering for the Iowa State Fair for next year.
c. Commissioner Lipski – Nothing to report.
d. Commissioner Mandsager – Nothing to report.
e. Commissioner Ordaz – Nothing to report.
f. Commissioner White – Nothing to report.
XI. Public Comments – none.
XII. Next commission meeting scheduled for August 20, 2021, at 2:00 PM.
XIII. Call to adjourn. Motion to adjourn as made by Commissioner Mandsager, seconded by Commissioner Johnston. Approved by roll call vote. Motion carried.