Commissioners' Meeting Minutes - November 19, 2021

Date: 
Friday, November 19, 2021 - 4:30pm

Approved Minutes – Meetingofthe Iowa Civil Rights Commission,

November 19, 2021

 

                                I.            Roll Call -

Commissioners: Gina Battani, Justin Johnston, Sam Kooiker, Patricia Lipski, Dennis Mandsager, Marcelena Ordaz, Holly White.

 

                             II.            Recognition of Staff, Public, Press –

Staff: Charles Hill, Kaitlin Smith, Katie Fiala, Joe Austen, Adam Brewster, Brenna Bormann, Amy Quail, Jacob Bennington, Reese Elphic, Mikayla Bennett, Samantha Nordstrom, Anne Johnson, Haley Wurdinger, Anna Rella.

 

                          III.            Approval of Minutes –

Minutesfrom meetings on September 24, 2021, were presented.A motion to approve the minutes wasmadebyCommissioner Mandsager,secondedbyCommissioner Lipski.Approved by vote. Motion carried.

 

Current/Ongoing Business

                          IV.            Continued Discussion on Employee Retention – Discussion regarding various aspects of the Civil Rights Specialist position and the new Retention Workgroup. A motion to form an additional Pay Workgroup was made by Commissioner Mandsager, seconded by Commissioner White. Approved by vote. Motion carried. Commissioners Mandsager, Battani, and White volunteered for the Retention Workgroup. Commissioners Ordaz, Kooiker, and Lipski volunteered for the Pay Workgroup. A motion to approve the group memberships was made by Commissioner Lipski, seconded by Commissioner Battani. Approved by vote. Motion carried.

                             V.            Outreach Update

a.       Recent Outreach – ICRC employees discussed recent outreach events, including a legal roundtable at the Trans Summit, fair housing training for training providers, the Latino Heritage Festival, Iowa City Pride, Celebrasian, and the World Food and Music Festival.

b.      Upcoming Outreach – Upcoming training for the Department of Inspections and Appeals.

c.       Specific Discussion on State Fair Outreach – The Commissioners discussed options for participating in the Iowa State Fair, and the decision was made not to have a solo booth, but to reach out to other state agencies and similar organizations for possible partnerships.

 

          New Business

                          VI.            Presentation on Complaint Outcomes – Kaitlin Smith and Katie Fiala presented to and answered questions from the Commissioners on possible outcomes of Non-Housing and Housing complaints, as well as different avenues for reconsideration of complaints.

                       VII.            Public Comment – No comments from members of the public.

 

          Standing Business

                     VIII.            Director’s report

a.       Office Updates – Governor Reynolds granted State employees two extra vacation days.

b.      Status of Permanent Executive Director Search – No update.

c.       Status of Federal Contracts

                                                                           i.      See Meeting Materials: EEOC Numbers and HUD Numbers

1.       EEOC Numbers to Date (Conclusion of FY21 contract and 1.5 months of FY 22 contract) – 841 complaints turned in to the EEOC in FY21, already performing above average for the first two months of FY22.

2.       HUD Numbers to Date (3.5 Months) – 46 closed cases.

d.      Employee Updates – one CRS departure, two new CRS hires.

                          IX.            Litigation Update –Katie Fiala discussed a housing case that reached oral argument in the court of appeals, and two judicial reviews actions pending and two housing cases pending in district court.

                             X.            Commissioners’ Reports

e.       Commissioner Justin Johnston – Talking with various organizations in Sioux City to try and address the homeless issue in Sioux City.

f.        Commissioner Sam Kooiker – Nothing to report.

g.       Commissioner Patricia Lipski – Nothing to report.

h.      Commissioner Dennis Mandsager – Discussed the Retention group and clarified communications and upcoming meetings.

i.         Commissioner Marcelena Ordaz – Nothing to report.

j.         Commissioner Holly White – Discussed an email she received from a member of the public regarding the complaint form.

k.          Commissioner Gina Battani – As a new commissioner, has been touching bases with other directors at local commissions around the state. Also attended the Access to Justice Commission’s community outreach work group as well as NAMI’s annual conference.

                          XI.            Next Meeting – Next commission meeting scheduled for December 17, 2021.

                       XII.            Call to adjourn. Meeting adjourned by Commissioner Ordaz.