Sunday, September 30, 2007
The agenda will include final preparations for the Annual Meeting; consider plans for the next Chapter Newsletter in January 2008; reports from Chapter officers and committees; review of proposed amendments to the Chapter Bylaws; consideration of the request by the Voter Confidence Committee for support of a policy to require the use of hand-counted paper ballots in Humboldt County elections; review of ACLU Arts Alive! events; and consideration of other items which Boardmembers or at-large members may bring up.
Board meetings are open to all ACLU members in good standing. Please call 215-5385 or drop by our office for more information or to request the inclusion of a new item on the meeting agenda.
Friday, September 21, 2007
REDWOOD CHAPTER OF
THE AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES
(Draft to be considered on October 27, 2007)
ARTICLE 1: NAME AND JURISDICTION
Sec. 1.1. The name of this organization is the Redwood Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, Inc.
Sec. 1.2. The Redwood Chapter is a component of and shall operate under the by-laws of the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, Inc., (ACLU-NC), which is located in
Sec. 1.3. The jurisdiction of this Chapter is Humboldt County, Del Norte County, western Trinity County, northern Mendocino County and adjacent areas, specifically those included in the following zipcodes: 95501-03, 95511, 95514, 95518-19, 95521, 95524-28, 95531-2, 95534, 95536-8, 95540, 95542-3, 95545-9, 95550-6, 95558-9, 95560, 95562-5, 95567-9, 95570-1, 95573, 95585, 95587, 95589, 95595, 96046.
ARTICLE 2: PURPOSE AND SCOPE
Sec. 2.1. The purpose of the chapter is to defend, maintain and extend the civil liberties guaranteed by the Constitution of the
Sec. 2.2. The chapter shall engage in educational programs to enable persons to recognize the violation or infringement of civil liberties and the need for their protection, and to interest the public in the work of the ACLU.
Sec. 2.3. Where the ACLU-NC or the national ACLU has joined a coalition on a specific issue, this chapter may join a local coalition or group working on the same issue without seeking prior approval from the ACLU-NC Board of Directors. However, where the ACLU-NC or the national ACLU has not established a policy or been involved in a specific issue, the chapter shall seek the advice of the ACLU-NC staff and receive approval from the ACLU-NC Board of Directors before joining any local coalition.
Sec. 2.4. The chapter shall take no legal action without approval of the ACLU-NC Board of Directors. It may, however, take any other action, including issuance of public statements, so long as the specific case or issue involved is clearly within its jurisdiction and is covered by the stated policies of the ACLU-NC. Where there is any doubt, or where the ACLU-NC has not issued a statement of policy, no public position or action shall be taken without approval of the Chair of the ACLU-NC Board.
ARTICLE 3: BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Sec. 3.1. The Chapter Board of Directors (the Board) shall consist of no fewer than eleven and no more than fifteen at-large members, all in good standing as members of the ACLU.
Sec. 3.1.1. In addition to at-large Board Directors, the Board shall include two separate seats for ACLU members in good standing who represent the
Sec. 3.2. The Board shall meet a minimum of six times each year. All Board meetings shall be open to any ACLU member who wishes to attend.
Sec. 3.3. A special meeting of the Board may be called by the Chair of by any three members on the Board provided that notice of such meeting is given at least three days in advance to all members of the Board.
Sec. 3.4. The Board shall have the authority and responsibility for managing the affairs of the chapter in compliance with these by-laws.
Sec. 3.5. One third of the elected Board plus one constitutes a quorum at the regularly scheduled monthly meeting, and one half of the elected Board plus one constitutes a quorum at any special meeting of the Board. If there is a tie vote, the item will be tabled until the next meeting with a quorum.
Sec. 3.6. A Board Director who fails to attend three consecutive Board meetings without an approved leave of absence may be dropped from membership on the Board after written notification from the Chair, however, within 15 days after receiving such notification, the Director may appeal to the Board for reinstatement.
Sec. 3.7. The Board shall create standing and ad-hoc committees to carry out the work of the chapter. The Chair shall appoint committee chairs, with consent of the Board. Committee Chairs who are not board members shall be ex-officio, non-voting members of the Board; committee actions shall be approved by the Board.
Sec. 3.8. The Board, may by resolution, adopt procedures for the establishment of telephonic meetings.
Sec. 3.9. The Board, may by resolution, adopt procedures for proxies.
Sec. 3.10. The Chair of the Board (or any Board Committee), may conduct discussions via email between meetings to facilitate informing Board Members of issues relevant to the Board (or their specific board committee). The Chair will insure that all members receive the same information when initiating email meetings or votes. All Board members will address responses to email discussions and votes to all board (or committee) members, which can be done by using the “reply all” feature in any email program. Motions calling for an email vote must be approved by the Chair of the Board, (or Committee), considering such a vote, and should only be done to facilitate timely decisions between scheduled meetings. A quorum shall be considered to be reached for email votes if a simple majority of the current eligible voting Board (or Committee) responds to the email before the next regular meeting. In the event a simple majority of the Board (or Committee) fails to respond by the next regular meeting the vote shall fail for lack of a quorum. In the event one or more Board (or Committee) members vote in the negative, the vote shall be tabled for further discussion at the next special or regular meeting. Any Board member without access to email, or who prefers not to use email, may provide a phone number that has an answering machine or voicemail coverage as an alternative to receiving notification of an electronic vote via email. When leaving phone messages, the same language as that sent in the email shall be read verbatim. Board members providing their vote over the phone shall have that vote documented by a designated person, who shall then email the appropriate Chair and other Board (or Committee) members with the vote response of member utilizing the phone to vote. The vote will be tabulated by the Chair to be reported and recorded at the next regular meeting. Other policies and procedures for conducting electronic special meetings may be adopted by the Board.
ARTICLE 4: OFFICERS
Sec. 4.1. The following chapter officers shall be elected annually from among the Board of Directors (except as noted): Chair, Vice Chair, Chapter Representative to ACLU-NC Board, Alternate Chapter Representative (may rotate during year and need be a member, but need not be a Board member),
Recording Secretary (may rotate during the year), Executive Secretary (may rotate during the year), Treasurer, and additional officers may be elected at the discretion of the Board. More than one person may hold more than one officer position if necessary, though not preferred.
Sec. 4.2. The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the Board, the Executive Committee and the membership, conduct elections and administer the general business of the Chapter.
and should attend as many meetings as possible of the ACLU-NC Board as a voting member and provide reports of same to the Chapter Board. The Chair shall be responsible for handling inquiries from the media and public, and communicating with the ACLU-NC, except as delegated with the approval of the Board of Directors.
Sec. 4.3. The Vice Chair shall preside at any Board, Executive Committee or membership meetings in the absence of the Chair and shall assume additional duties as assigned by the Chair of the Board. The Vice Chair shall serve on the Executive Committee.
Sec. 4.4. The Chapter Representative or Alternate Chapter Representative shall represent the Chapter at the ACLU-NC Board meetings as a voting member
in place of and at the discretion of the Chair. The Chair and the Representative or Alternate Representative shall serve as liaisons with ACLU-NC, providing information to the Chapter and the Affiliate about each other’s activities. The Chair and the Representative or Alternate Representative shall work towards fostering better relationships between members and the ACLU-NC. The Affiliate Representative and Alternate Representative shall serve on the Executive Committee.
Sec. 4.5. The
Recording Secretary shall take minutes of each meeting and mail or email them to the Board no later than one week before the next meeting. The Recording Secretary shall submit the minutes to the ACLU-NC within a week of their approval by the Board. The Executive Secretary shall keep records of chapter activities, provide Chapter information to the ACLU-NC as required, and assume additional duties as assigned by the Board or Chair. The Secretary shall serve on the Executive Committee.
Sec. 4.6. The Treasurer shall receive and disburse Chapter funds, maintain Chapter financial records in accordance with established accounting procedures and ACLU-NC requirements, provide financial status reports to the Board each time it meets, submit an annual Chapter budget for review at the general membership meeting and assume additional related duties as assigned by the Board. The Treasurer shall serve on the Executive Committee.
ARTICLE 5: ELECTIONS
Sec. 5.1. The Chapter Directors shall be elected for two year terms, rotating so that half of the Board is elected every year at the annual membership meeting. Directors may be asked to serve longer than a year if there is a postponement of the annual meeting.
Sec. 5.2. At least 90 days before the annual membership meeting, the Chair, with the consent of the Board, shall appoint a five-person Nominating Committee. There shall be two non-Board members on the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall present its recommendation to the Board at least 60 days before the annual membership meeting. The Nominating Committee’s recommendations should be based on Board-approved eligibility criteria. The Board shall approve a slate of candidates at least sixty days before the annual membership meeting. The Board may, by a unanimous vote of those present, waive the 90 day requirement of a Nominating Committee.
Sec. 5.3. By submitting a letter to the Board with five signatures of ACLU-NC members at least 15 days before the annual membership meeting, a member in good standing may petition the Board to be included on the ballot.
Sec. 5.3.1. By submitting a letter to the Board expressing the decision of the members of the Humboldt State University Friends of the ACLU to nominate an ACLU-NC member in good standing who is also a matriculated student at HSU, the Chair of the HSU Friends of the ACLU may place one nominee on the ballot for the specific seat reserved for the HSU Friends of the ACLU representative. Other HSU students who are ACLU-NC members in good standing may petition the Board to be included on the ballot for the specific seat reserved for the HSU Friends of the ACLU representative, by submitting a letter to the Board with five signatures of ACLU-NC members who are also HSU students.
Sec. 5.3.2. By submitting a letter to the Board expressing the decision of the members of the College of the Redwoods Civil Liberties Union to nominate an ACLU-NC member in good standing who is also a matriculated student at CR, the Chair of the CR Civil Liberties Union may place one nominee on the ballot for the specific seat reserved for the CR Civil Liberties Union representative. Other CR students who are ACLU-NC members in good standing may also petition the Board to be included on the ballot for the specific seat reserved for the CR Civil Liberties Union representative, by submitting a letter to the Board with five signatures of ACLU-NC members who are also CR students.
Sec. 5.4. The membership shall receive written notification of the Board-approved and petitioning nominees at least 15 days before the annual membership meeting. Members shall be notified that they will be permitted to make additional nominations from the floor at the time of the election, provided such nomination is seconded.
Sec. 5.5. Election as a Director shall be determined by
a majority of the votes cast at the annual meeting by choice voting, which shall be conducted in the following manner:
(a) The minimum threshold of votes necessary to be elected shall be determined by dividing
the total number of votes cast for that office by one more than the number of offices to be filled and
then adding one vote, and then ignoring any fraction.
(b) All ballots are counted and each ballot is allocated as a vote to the candidate receiving
the highest ranking.
(c) Each candidate that receives the minimum threshold of votes necessary to be elected
shall be declared elected.
(d) If a candidate on the first count has a number of highest ranking votes exactly equal to
the minimum number of votes needed to be elected, then that candidate is declared elected and the
counted ballots indicating that candidate as a highest ranking are put aside and the other rankings
recorded on the ballots are not examined.
(e) If a candidate on the first count gains more than the minimum number of votes needed
to be elected, the candidate is declared elected, and the number of votes in excess of the number of
votes needed to be elected (the surplus) is recorded. All of the elected candidate's ballots are then
reexamined and assigned to candidates not yet elected according to the highest continuing ranking
on the ballots of those who gave a first preference vote to the elected candidate. These votes are
allocated according to a “transfer value.” The formula for the transfer value is: Surplus votes cast for
the elected candidate, divided by total number of votes received by the elected candidate, calculated
out to four decimal places using "rounding to nearest" equals the transfer value.
(f) If two or more candidates on the first count gain more than the minimum number of votes
needed to be elected, all of those candidates are declared elected. Each of the ballots of the candidate
with the largest number of highest ranking votes will be reexamined first and assigned (at the transfer
value) to candidates not yet elected according to the next highest continuing ranking marked on that
ballot. The ballots of the other elected candidates will then be
reexamined and their surpluses
distributed in order according to the number of highest ranking votes each candidate received.
(g) If a candidate reaches more than the minimum number of votes needed to be elected
as the consequence of a transfer of votes from an elected candidate, the number of votes in excess
of the number of votes needed to be elected shall be transferred to other candidates. This transfer
will be to the next highest continuing ranking shown on each of this candidate's ballots. These ballots
now include (1) ballots indicating this candidate as the highest ranking, and (2) the ballots transferred
to the candidate from one or more elected candidates. The transfer value for the ballots on which the
candidate was indicated by the highest ranking is the same as the transfer value defined in subdivision
(e). The transfer value for each ballot transferred to the candidate from one or more previously elected
candidates shall be the surplus votes cast for the elected candidate divided by the total number of
votes received by the elected candidate multiplied by the previous transfer value of the ballot received
by that candidate, as shown in the following formula: The surplus votes cast for the elected candidate,
divided by the total number of votes received by the elected candidate, multiplied by the previous
transfer value of the ballot received by that candidate, calculated out five decimal places and rounded
to the fourth decimal place.
(h) If no candidate has a number of votes equal to or greater than the minimum number of
votes needed to be elected as a consequence of a redistribution of surplus votes from a previously
elected candidate, the candidate with the smallest number of votes is eliminated. All of eliminated
candidate's ballots, both ballots indicating that candidate as the highest ranking and any ballots
transferred from other candidates, are transferred to the next highest continuing ranking on the
eliminated candidate's ballots. The ballots in which the eliminated candidate was indicated by the
highest ranking are transferred to the candidate indicated by next highest continuing ranking on that
ballot at full value. Ballots received from previously elected or previously eliminated candidates are
transferred at the transfer value at which the ballots were received.
(i) Tabulation of votes shall continue in the following sequence: (1) The surplus votes of
elected candidates shall be redistributed until no more candidates receive the minimum threshold
of votes necessary to be elected. The surplus votes of the newly elected candidate with the greatest
surplus will be distributed first, and the surpluses of the other newly elected candidates will then be
distributed in order according to the number of surplus votes of each elected candidate awaiting
transfer of surplus votes. (2) Candidates are eliminated as specified in subdivision (h) and the votes
of eliminated candidates are redistributed until another candidate receives the minimum threshold of
votes necessary to be elected. (3) When all but one of the candidates to be elected have been
elected, and only two candidates remain in the count, the candidate with the most votes is declared
elected, even though the candidate may not have reached the minimum threshold of votes necessary
to be elected.
(j) A tie between two or more candidates for fewest votes, as specified in subdivision (h),
shall be resolved by lot and that candidate chosen by lot shall be eliminated. A tie between two or
more candidates for the number of highest ranking votes received, as specified in subdivision (f),
or the most surplus votes, as specified in paragraph (1) of subdivision (i), shall be resolved by lot
and the candidate chosen by lot shall be the first to have his or her surplus votes transferred.
Sec. 5.6. Directors and officers shall assume office when elected. Officers are elected by the Board, which may be postponed until the next regularly scheduled meeting.
Sec. 5.7. In the event of a vacancy for an at-large Board Director seat or a chapter officer, the Board shall appoint a Director or an officer to serve until the next scheduled election. In the event of a vacancy for a representative Board Director seat, the Chair shall notify the respective student organization and request a special election be held by that organization to choose a replacement to serve until the next scheduled election, whom the Board shall ratify the appointment of prior to assuming office.
Sec. 5.8. The criteria for nomination and election to the Board shall be (a) membership in good standing in the ACLU-NC and the chapter; and (b) commitment to fulfill the duties and responsibilities required by the Board, including regular attendance at Board meetings.
ARTICLE 6: MEMBERSHIP AND MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS
Sec. 6.1. All members of the ACLU in good standing are considered members of a particular chapter when: (a) their address is in the geographic jurisdiction of the chapter; or (b) they have elected to become members of a non-geographic chapter like the Gay Rights Chapter. Those who elect to join a non-geographic chapter must indicate such intent in writing to that chapter or to the affiliate staff; otherwise, they will automatically be assigned to this geographic chapter if their zip code corresponds to those listed above.
Sec. 6.2. The chapter shall hold an annual membership meeting (once a year) for the purpose of electing Directors, providing reports of chapter activities and discussing other chapter or ACLU business, including a review of the Chapter budget and annual report. An educational program, fundraising activity or award ceremony may be included in the meeting. The public should be notified to encourage new membership.
Sec. 6.3. A special membership meeting may be called at any time by the Board or by written request to the Board by 5% of the membership.
Sec. 6.4. Written notice of a membership meeting shall be sent to all members giving them at least seven days prior notice of the meeting. Where available, telephonic or electronic notice is sufficient.
ARTICLE 7: ADOPTION AND AMENDMENT OF BY-LAWS
Sec. 7.1. These by-laws shall become effective when approved by a majority of the Board, the ACLU-NC, and the chapter members present at the annual meeting. A copy of these by-laws shall be given to each Director when elected and shall be made available to any member upon request.
Sec. 7.2. These by-laws may be amended at any meeting of the Board by a majority of the Directors, subject to approval of the ACLU-NC Board. Any amendment so approved shall be effective only until the next annual meeting unless it is then ratified by a majority of the members present.
ARTICLE 8: RULES OF ORDER
Sec. 8.1. Except as otherwise provided, Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised, shall govern the conduct of meetings.
(Note: Only 95527, 31, 32, 38, 40, 43, 52, 67, 87, 89, 96046 are being added)
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
For Immediate Release
ACLU Expresses Dismay At Arcata Spy
At the regular monthly meeting of the Redwood Chapter, ACLU Board of Directors today, local civil rights leaders condemned the 3-2 vote last night by the Arcata City Council to move forward with plans concocted by Arcata Police chief Randy Mendosa to install a high-tech surveillance camera system on the
“The Council unanimously defeated this same plan back in 2001 after a massive public outcry over the civil liberties implications of spying on local residents as they work, shop, protest and play in their town square,” said Redwood ACLU chair Christina Allbright. “Their flip-flop in favor of an intrusive and ineffective spy camera system will not go unnoticed in our community.”
After several public comments against the plan by ACLU spokespersons and local residents, including former councilmember Dave Meserve, the City Council did agree to bring back to a future meeting a policy under development by city manager Michael Hackett.
“Thankfully there are members of the City Council such as Paul Pitino and Harmony Groves who see the danger to civil liberties inherent to this proposal,” said Redwood ACLU boardmember Stephen Davies. “We thank them for their strong stand against a repeat of this foolish idea.”
The Council also received a 28-page page report prepared this summer by the ACLU of Northern California which provided detailed research on how public surveillance camera systems have proven ineffective and prone to corrupt uses such as racial profiling.
“Government-run video surveillance can radically alter the relationship between law enforcement and the public. By itself, pervasive video surveillance threatens privacy rights. But even more disturbing, the threat multiplies when government combines cameras with emerging technologies…” stated the report. “Surveillance cameras will not improve public safety, and limited funds can be better spent on programs that are both proven effective and less invasive, such as improved lighting, foot patrols, and real community policing.”
In response to the forthcoming Arcata public surveillance policy, the Redwood ACLU plans a series of public forums in Arcata to disseminate the report’s findings, provide an account of the previously defeated spy cam plan in 2001 and promote community input prior to the adoption of the new policy.
“A diverse set of Arcata residents from across the political spectrum mobilized to put a stop to this scheme six years ago, and we were successful,” said Redwood ACLU vice chair Greg Allen. “We did it before, and apparently we will have to do it again since some of the councilmembers subsequently elected just didn’t get the message.”
Local ACLU leaders also express particular concern with the appearance of a conflict of interest on the part of councilmember Alex Stillman, who owns several properties on the Plaza and who even stated last night that she was considering installing a substantially similar private surveillance system at her own expense and on her own building – that is, unless the City of Arcata spent public tax dollars to do much the same thing.
“Stillman cast the tie-breaking vote to move in the direction of a policy that would by her own admission materially affect her property and her business affairs,” said Allen. “The appearance of conflict under the Brown Act and under Arcata’s own Code of Ethics makes it clear she should step aside when this policy comes back for a vote later this year.”
The state affiliate of the ACLU has made their report, entitled “Under the Watchful Eye: The Proliferation of Video Surveillance Systems in
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