Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Redwood ACLU to Hold Eureka School Board Candidate Debate

The Redwood Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is holding a Candidates' Debate on Civil Liberties for the candidates for Eureka School Board, to be held on Wednesday, October 26th from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on live television -- Access Humboldt Channel 11 -- out of the Community Media Center studio at Eureka High School.

This debate will be held before a televised audience and in cooperation with independent producers working with Access Humboldt it will also be aired several times on public access Channels 11 & 12 and will likewise be available for later viewing on-line.

The debate will be moderated by Redwood ACLU Boardmember and Eureka resident Xandra Manns, and shall be staffed by other members of the Board of Directors of the Redwood ACLU, although any persons who have made any sort of campaign contribution or endorsement of any of the candidates in this year's election are excluded from involvement.

"The debate allows the voters to get a handle on what the candidates have to say in this important election," Redwood ACLU Chair Greg Allen said.

Unlike previous ACLU debates, one of the candidates for this public office has so far indicated their unwillingness to participate. Judy Anderson, the incumbent running for re-election to the Eureka School Board, sent the Redwood Chapter an e-mail indicating her decline of the invitation.

She wrote: "I believe an open format debate with questions coming from a live audience provides a fairer forum," even though, like the League of Women Voter's forums traditionally broadcast live on KEET TV, there will be a live television audience calling in their questions for the candidates.

"To even say that is patently absurd," Allen retorted. "History has shown that the debates we sponsor have been unbiased and impartial."

The Board of Directors of the Redwood ACLU met last week and unanimously determined to hold the debate regardless. There will be a chair held open for Judy Anderson; the other candidate, Susan Johnson, has already agreed to appear and participate without any demands to change the debate format.

The Redwood ACLU held the only televised debate for all candidates for the Northern Humboldt High School District in 2005 at the Senior Room of the Arcata Community Center, and has also presented civil liberties-oriented forums for local city council races over the last seven years. In 2010, the Redwood ACLU hosted two televised debates, in both the primary and general elections, for all of the candidates running for District Attorney of Humboldt County -- the October 2010 run-off debate between Paul Gallegos and Allison Jackson was the first live event to be televised from the Access Humboldt studio at Eureka High School. The Redwood ACLU, based in Eureka with over 850 members across the North Coast, is a non-partisan organization that never endorses or opposes candidates for public office.

The format of the debate will start with opening statements and an airing of the candidate’s views on questions posed by the moderator concerning civil liberties issues in Humboldt County. All other questions will be posed by phone-in questions from the television audience, followed by closing statements. Each candidate will have the opportunity to issue rebuttals to the statements of others.

Members of the press or public with questions may contact the Redwood ACLU at (707) 442-4419 or redwoodaclu@hotmail.com, or drop by our office at 917 Third Street in Old Town Eureka.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

PRESS RELEASE: Redwood ACLU Questions Arcata’s Anti-Protest Practices


Tuesday, April 19, 2010

Redwood ACLU Questions Arcata’s Anti-Protest Practices

Annual 4/20 pro-marijuana legalization demonstration draws concern

The Board of Directors of the Redwood Chapter, American Civil Liberties Union expressed concern today over the pattern of practices by City of Arcata officials in relation to the annual “4/20” marijuana legalization protest in Redwood Park, which falls every year on April 20th.

In particular, Redwood ACLU Boardmembers and other community members have witnessed a number of peculiar actions over the last couple of years by Arcata Police Department officers and other city staff. These include:

  • The erection of roadblocks on public streets leading to Redwood Park; and,

  • The blocking of public trails through public parkland leading to
    Redwood Park; and,

  • The shutdown of public parking lots and public restrooms; and,

  • The marching of a platoon of armed APD officers through Redwood Park to harass and intimidate college students and others engaged in peaceful protest, barking orders at them concerning the “trampling of foliage” and other nuisance-level complaints; and,

  • The ticketing of members of the public in an arbitrary and capricious manner.

“The over-reaction of the City of Arcata to what amounts to a low-impact, non-violent mass action to protest federal law is really uncalled for,” Vice Chair Jack Munsee said. “It’s possibly unconstitutional -- you have the right to peacefully protest.”

Redwood ACLU Boardmembers will be on hand tomorrow to act as observers.

The Redwood Chapter, ACLU represents over 850 ACLU members across Del Norte, Humboldt, Western Trinity and Northern Mendocino Counties. Their offices are located at 917 Third Street in Old Town Eureka. For more information, call the Redwood ACLU at (707) 442-4419 or visit redwoodaclu.blogspot.com.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Redwood ACLU Annual Meeting

Please join your fellow lovers of liberty for the Annual Meeting of the Redwood Chapter, American Civil Liberties Union!

Our keynote speaker is Dan Hamburg, former Congressman and newly elected Supervisor of Mendocino County. He'll discuss the future of civil liberties on the North Coast and take your questions!

The event starts at 6 p.m. with a potluck and music by Joe Garceau, followed by the election of our 2011 Redwood ACLU Board, our keynote speech and the awarding of the 2010 Redwood ACLU Patriot Award to a local civil rights champion.

For more information, call (707) 442-4419 or visit redwoodaclu.blogspot.com

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Redwood ACLU Board Meeting Tuesday Jan 18th Noon

The Board of Directors of the Redwood Chapter, ACLU will meet Tuesday, January 18th at 12:00 p.m. at the ACLU office at 917 Third Street, Suite Q (between J & K Streets) in Eureka.

The agenda will include an update on the implementation of Eureka's medical marijuana ordinance; an update on Humboldt County's Law Enforcement Committee; review of potential legal action against the City of Arcata over their anti-panhandling ordinance; updates on election reform efforts; discuss revisions to next year's nominating process for the Patriot Award; reports from Chapter officers and committees; 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 442-4419 or drop by our office for more information or to request the inclusion of a new item on the meeting agenda.