Commissioners' Meeting "Approved" Minutes September 18, 2015

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Minutes - September 18, 2015 Meeting of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission

I.  Roll Call: Williams, Oelschlaeger, Cunningham, Lipski, Hou,
Staff: Director Johnson
AG: Fiala, Bennett
Public/Press: John Klaus, Heidi Thompson, Beth Oostenbrug, Brian Phillips, Tim Ellett, Ames Human Rights Commission, other members of the public did not introduce themselves

II. Motion by Oelschlaeger, seconded by Cunningham to approve Minutes from 5-15-15; motion approved.
 Motion by Oelschlaeger, seconded by Lipski to approve Minutes from 6-12-15; motion approved.

III. Commissioner Williams – encouraged everyone to attend the Iowa Criminal Justice Summit at UNI (Ed: October 1, 2015). There have been a number of successful community outreach meetings in the Des Moines area, and the dialogue has been positive.
 Commissioner Lipski – has heard numerous Iowans discuss an increase in possible perceived disability claims, particularly by veterans, which she has referred to the ICRC and private attorneys.
 Commissioner Cunningham – there will be a race exhibit at the Science Center of Iowa October 10, 2015-April 3, 2016. The exhibit explores the science and sociology of race and the contemporary experience of race and racism in the U.S. ISU is planning a series of outreach/panel discussions and other engaging activities and have reached out to ICRC to determine whether there is a desire to participate. Commissioner Cunningham suggests this is an excellent opportunity for the Commissioners. He volunteered to take the lead on behalf of the Commission. Commissioners all concurred there is value in participating in this endeavor. Commissioner Cunningham also reported he has fielded requests from various organizations seeking to formulate applications encouraging inclusiveness and a wider diversity in applications for grants, board positions, scholarships, etc. There does not appear to be many resources available to assist in these efforts, and he suggests the Commission staff place links on the website or prepare a resource guide for the public.
 Commissioner Hou – no report. Expressed appreciation for the opportunity to travel to communities outside Des Moines for commission meetings.

IV. Director’s Report – Thank you to the Ames Human Rights Commission for hosting the ICRC Commission meeting and training to follow the meeting. The ICRC had a display at the Iowa State Fair in August with a continuous PowerPoint presentation covering the history of Civil Rights in Iowa. On November 6, 2015, the ICRC is hosting its 3rd Annual Symposium at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. Public is invited, Continuing education credit for attorneys is approved. Commissioners were provided state email accounts for ICRC business at the suggestion of the Attorney General’s office to protect personal and business accounts in the event of public information requests. Passwords expire every 60 days, so please be sure to log in regularly and change your passwords.

V. Public Comment/questions – John Klaus of the Ames Human Rights Commission introduced himself and Ames staff. The Ames Commission has a small budget and historically had few complaints, but it is very active in outreach and education. Bus advertising is also sponsored by local businesses.

VI. Next meeting set for October 9, 2015, at 1:00 pm in Des Moines, which will also include oral argument on an appeal (see agenda). 


Meeting adjourned after motion and vote to adjourn.