Iowa Civil Rights Commission
The Commissioners’ Meeting of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission was brought to order by David Leshtz, Chairman. Present were Alicia Claypool, Constance Gronstal, Maria Waterman, Dr. Gilberto Solivan, Timothy Tutt, and Rachel Scherle. Also present were Corlis Moody, Executive Director, and Araceli Goode, Executive Secretary.
Recognition of Public/Press
The Chair recognized the public present at this time welcoming them to the meeting and asked who would be addressing the Commission.
Approval of Minutes
A motion to approve the August 8, 2001 Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes was made by Alicia Claypool and seconded by Tim Tutt with the following corrections. In the Approval of Minutes, the last sentence, "Senator Bolkcan" changed to "Senator Bolkcom". The motion passed unanimously.
Alicia Claypool - Attended the Hate Crimes Forum September 12. She thought it was well attended and the panel informative. More hate crimes are occurring here in Iowa. She handed out copies of the Iowa Hate Crimes Laws that were complied by the Polk County Attorney’s Office. Reported that the El Foro, a group of Hispanics and Hispanic supporters, were putting together a statement warning against discrimination toward people of Middle Eastern descent. ICRC signed on to the statement after consultation between Corlis Moody and David Leshtz. Invited others to endorse the statement.
Connie Gronstal - Has been in contact with the new Executive Director of the Council Bluffs Human Rights Commission regarding hosting the Commissioner’s Meeting in October. The Council Bluffs Library has been selected as the site for the meeting.
Maria Waterman - Reported she attended the Anti-Hate Coalition in Davenport.
Dr. Gilberto Solivan - No report
Rachel Scherle - Reported she had attended a Young Iowans pep rally September 5.
David Leshtz - Brought forth the article in the Register newspaper on August . Also stated had viewed the much improved ICRC web page. He suggested the Commissioners be listed with contact information be on the web page. Suggested the Commissioners let Corlis or Sally know what personal contact information to put on the web page.
Timothy Tutt - No Report
Executive Director’s Report
Referred the Commissioners to the monthly reports included in their packets. Requested if they had any questions to let her know. Informed the Commissioners of the meeting of the Human Civil Rights Commissions throughout the State being held September 21. Corlis will also participate in the State of Black Iowa presentation at the Downtown Holiday Inn September 21.
Alicia Claypool and Maria Waterman presented before the Commission and guests, the Resolution to add Sexual Orientation to the protected classes in Chapter 216 of the Iowa Code. Alicia Claypool read the Resolution into the record (Copy attached). Motion was made by Maria Waterman and seconded by Tim Tutt to adopt the Resolution. Discussion followed. The chair informed the guest speakers to please keep their statements as short as possible to allow time for everyone. Mr. Herman Quirmbach, member of the Ames city council, Christine Hensley, Des Moines City Council, Pastor Mark Davis, leader of the Interfaith Alliance, and Jonathan Wilson all spoke in support of the Commission’s Sexual Orientation Resolution. After discussion the Commissioners voted, with six ayes and one nay. The motion was passed. It will be presented to the Governor in the agency’s legislation packet.
General Counsel Brian Gentry, co-chair of the African-Americans in Prison Task Force spoke to the Commissioners regarding this issue. A report to the Governor is due in November. The report will provide recommendations and information concerning the disproportionate incarceration of African-Americans in Iowa.
Commissioner Penny Westfall, Department of Public Safety, discussed the Racial Profiling Project being conducted by her department (State Troopers). At this time, the data is being collected and will be analyzed by the Iowa State University once the contract is finalized
. Diversity training is being done throughout the entire state for all troopers. Diversity training is being standardized throughout the entire state for all troopers so everyone is getting the same training and on a scheduled manner. Previously Diversity training was at the discretion of the outlying offices. So far, the percentage of nonwhite traffic stops appears to be similar to white given the population of the highways. A camera mounted on the trooper’s car records all stops. The videos are reviewed randomly. Because troopers have jurisdiction only on highways, data within counties or cities is not part of their data gathering. Question and answer time followed. A request was made for the card that the troopers are filling out at the time of a stop and she indicated she would send some to the Director.
In conjunction with the Iowa Attorney General Office, the Civil Rights Commission is tracking hate crimes and disturbances since September 11, 2001, regarding Islamic or other Arab groups in Iowa. Local Commissions, Diversity and Study Circles will assist in this effort.
October 11, 2001 at Council Bluffs.
The Chair adjourned the meeting.