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SEPTEMBER 5, 2007 MEETING MINUTES

CBA BILL OF RIGHTS (soon to be ‘CIVIL RIGHTS’) COMMITTEE

LOCATION:  CBA offices, Denver, CO

COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT:

Chair:  Mari Newman 
Vice Chair: Sara Rich
Laura Schwartz 
Porya Mansorian Fard –via conference call 
Terry Quinn – via conference call 
Tim Quinn
Brian Moore
Dennis Thome
Mark Wilson 
Mark Collins 
Gordon Gamm
Michael Wulfsohn

OTHERS PRESENT:  CBA Personnel – Michael Valdez

MEETING BEGINS: 5:40 pm

Organizational Issues (jumped ahead in the agenda to website issues b/c Porya cannot attend the entire meeting)

Website

  • Porya reported that the website is up and running but there is not much information on the committee’s site
  • Ideas to go on the website
    • Mission statement
      “The mission of the Civil Rights Committee is to promote the civil rights of individuals and groups through legislative activities, educational activities, and community outreach.”
    • Minutes from meetings – access to the minutes can be restricted to only those members who are registered on the bill of rights committee 
    • Sara Rich will send minutes to Porya for posting on the website

Discussion regarding CLEs and other educational programs

Co-Sponsorship of Septemeber 19, 2007 presentation on Citizenship-150 years after the Dred Scott Decision with American Constitutional Society

  • We need to add this to the website for advertising – Mari Newman will send the description to Porya 
  • Discussion regarding notice to the CBA of the Sept. 19 presentation 
    • need approval and should go through Dana Collier-Smith for addition to the Thursday afternoon listserv

Approval of Minutes

Minutes from June 21, 2007 meeting approved

(Cont.) Discussion regarding CLEs and other educational programs

First Amendment Series re Democratic Convention

  • Free speech Zones
    • Moreci is going to try and find someone to speak on the federal side while Ed Ramey will speak on the free speech side of the issue 
      • Other ideas
        o Send invitations to the City council
        o American Association of University Professors
        o Tom [LAST NAME]
        o David Lane 
    • Length of the program 
      • Will depend on how many people are going to speak
      • Idea to start small for planning purposes – 1 hour, 15 minutes 
    • Food at program
      • Either bring lunch or pay $10 to cover cost of food
      • Need to pick a date so we can reserve a room
      • The small room holds approximately 35 people while the bigger conference room holds up to 100
      • Need to request that people RSVP so we know which room will be required 
    • Dates
      • Monday January 21, 2008 offered as possibility
      • Wait until the end of February
      • Michael Valdez will check on the availability of the large conference room at the end of February 
    • Discussion about topic – narrow topic to free speech zones or free speech generally - question whether free speech zones would include the topic of abortion protesters 
      • Gordan Gamm proposes getting the perspective of the Democratic Party and how it intends to deal with these issues
      • Terry Quinn thinks an important angle is what one person can do to shut down another person’s free speech – to preserve free speech it may be necessary to prevent completely free speech – rights of the convention participants to protest
  • Denver Spy Files
    • Possible speakers
      • Tom Rice
      • Mark Silverstein
  • Other proposals 
  • Street demonstrations – National Lawyers Guild is co-sponsoring an event with Carol Sobel regarding street demonstrations and how they are handled by the police including: Snatch squads and mass false arrests 
    • Motion to explore the option of co-sponsoring this event – motion seconded and passed
      • Need to work together with the NLG on publicity, flyers and title
      • Needs to be evenhanded
      • Will need find a counterpoint 
        • Possibly professors at CU and/or DU
        • Someone locally on the city council working on safety issues
        • Brian Moore will look into finding a counterpoint speaker
  • Proposed timeline for the three-part free speech series
    • February – Free Speech Zones
    • April – Street demonstrations w/NLG
    • June – spy files

Co-sponsorship opportunity for speaking event with Frank Lindh, father of John Walker Lindh (the "American Taliban")

  • Scheduled October 11, 2007 at University of Denver – time not finalized
  • Query as to how this ties with the BOR agenda
    • Concern that the program will be one-sided propaganda
    • Response: BOR committee is to educate and get information out
    • Dennis Thome was “shocked” when he saw this item in the minutes
    • Motion to have disclaimer put into our co-sponsorship stating that we do not necessarily support the content
      • The Bill of Rights Committee is co-sponsoring this event for the sole purpose of education the bar membership but is not taking any position on the topics presented
      • Motion seconded and passed
      • UPDATE: The organizer of the event will not be using a disclaimer for the Frank Lindh presentation as required by the BOR Committee, therefore, the committee will not be co-sponsoring this event.

(Cont.) Organizational issues

Process of getting BOR Member on Legislative Policy Committee

  • LPC members are appointed by the CBA president, David Lytle.  All appointments have been made for this year. 
  • Bill Walters is going to be the next president – committee members need to talk to him to get a spot on the LPC next year – July 2008 
  • BOR committee is the first committee to think of this – similar to what happened when committees attempted to get a permanent spot on the Board of Governors – may take some time but we need to continue the effort  
  • BOR wants to bring its point of view to the LPC – because the committee spends so much time on the legislative issues the committees point of view would be useful 
  • Currently there are liaisons from each committee on the LPC but they do not have voting power – goal is to have by-laws changed so that the BOR committee has a permanent seat on the LPC
  • Motion to have Brian Moore as the liaison of the BOR committee on the LPC, motion seconded and passed

Time of meetings

  • Recurring issue between night meetings and morning meetings
  • Decided to vote by email asking who can attend night and/or morning meetings
    • The email response will set the next meeting time
  • UPDATE: Committee will now meet on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.; however, the specific Tuesday of each month has not yet been decided.

BOR Social Event

Sara Rich will look into locations for social gathering

  • Possibilities 
    • Palomino during happy hour – good drink and appetizer specials
      • UPDATE: S. Rich spoke with manager and committee can reserve area in bar for social event – someone from the committee just needs to call to confirm there are no other events that evening in the bar
      • happy hour is from 4 pm – 7 pm
    • Breckenridge Brewery – has a side room maybe could reserve

Old/New Business

Gordan Gamm raises concern about mission and purpose of the committee

  • Concerned that the Committee is always providing balanced perspective, we should be presenting the perspective of explaining civil liberties – not always presenting the anti-civil liberties perspective

Add issue to next meeting’s agenda

  • Is the mission of the BOR committee (soon to be Civil Rights Committee) to present a balanced view on civil liberties or to push the envelope on civil liberties