Commission Meeting MINUTES of Monday, December 16, 2013

Minneapolis City Hall, Martin Luther King, Jr. Conference Room - 241

350 South 5th Street, Minneapolis, MN




6:05 PM: President Froehle calls the Meeting to Order


Roll Call

Commissioners in Attendance: Thomas Gallagher, Lonnie Nichols, John Oberreuter, Bernadette Casey, Arlene Santiago, Wendy Adler Robinson, Michael Harralson, Kenneth Fukuda, Peter Larsen, Emily Froehle, Adosh Unni, Gerald Strauss, Marla Khan, Carina Aleckson


Commissioners Absent: G. Christine Peters, Danielle Shelton Walczak


City Staff: Lee Zutz, Toni Newborn, Carol Bachun


Guest(s): None


Approval November 18, 2013 MCCR minutes; moved by Froehle and approved by consensus.


Approval of December 16, 2013 MCCR Meeting Agenda is moved by Froehle and approved by consensus.


Election of 2014 MCCR Chair: nominations were received for Michael Harralson and Peter Larsen; speeches were provided by each candidate and there was a brief Q & A session.  Commissioner Harralson received 8 votes to Commissioner Larsen’s 5 and was elected 2014 MCCR Chair.


Committee reports and updates to the full commission:

Contract Compliance: meets 3rd Monday of month at 5:30 pm in City Hall prior to the Full Commission meeting: CC did not meet.


Standards and Procedures: Chair Danielle Shelton Walczak, meets 3rd Monday of month at 5:00 pm in City Hall prior to the Full Commission meeting.  S&P did not meet.


Public Relations and Education: Co-Chairs, Bernadette Casey and Marla Khan, meets 3rd Monday of month at 5:30 pm in City Hall prior to the Full Commission meeting.  Commissioner Khan and Commissioner Casey provide an update, sharing that 31 entries were received for the Minneapolis MLK Essay Competition.  There is a discussion on the competition focused on strategies to improve marketing and participation.  Khan and Casey invite interested Commissioners to the first reading/screening of entries at GiGis Café on the evening of January 06, 2014.


Commissioner Unni indicated that the Public Hearing Working Group, an effort to schedule quarterly public hearings on the topic of Equity in Housing in Minneapolis, did not meet due to inclement weather.


The MCCR Executive Committee was scheduled to meet immediately after the monthly full commission meeting in 2013; it is comprised of the MCCR Officers and Committee Chairs and did not meet.


League of Minnesota Human Rights Commissions: Former Commissioner Patricia Nelson continues as District Director of the MLHRC and Commissioner Fukuda is a Director at large; the League website is www.LeagueofMNHumanRights.org  Fukuda says that the MLHRC did not meeting and their next meeting will be in January 2014.


Commissioner Nichols presents a letter version for the concept introduced in November to send a letter to the Mayor of Minneapolis and President of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board; requesting that the City and MPRB work together invite President Obama to visit Minnehaha Falls in 2014 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s visit in 1964.  Commissioners comment and discuss the content and structure of the letter, and the Black & White Photo referenced/attached to it which is displayed by the MPRB at the scenic overlook of the Falls in Minnehaha Park.


Comments are made about “CC’s” being sent to President Obama and MN Governor Dayton, correction of  a spelling, verb tense, placing the text on Civil Rights Department Letterhead for signature and the significance of the 1964 Civil Rights Act passed by the US Congress.  Nichols expresses that the intent for the letter is to have all the Commissioners sign it, and that the letter is important to him because he will turn 50 in 2014 and feels that along with others on the Commission, he is a beneficiary (in life and equal rights) as an outcome of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


Motion: the letter as amended be sent to the Mayor and Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board; moved Robinson, second Harralson, motion carries.


Department Directors Report: Interim Assistant Director (IAD) Toni Newborn, Complaint Investigations Division provided a power point presentation of the Commissioner’s Update Brief (CUB).  As of December 16, 2013, there were 68 case files pending resolution with the department and a total of 11 cases submitted by the Department for the 2014 EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) contract.  There are 5 current cases under review by the Commission: 2 Probable Cause (PC), 2 No Probable Cause (NPC), 1 Dismissal.  The Department EEOC contract for 2014 is 91 cases.  The definition of a backlog case has changed from one year (365 days), to a term of 300 days in 2013, and for the 2014 contract, a period to receive, file and complete a case within 270 days; if there is no resolution within 270 days in 2014, a case will categorized as a backlog case.


IAD Newborn announces that there will be a Mediation Training on January 31, 2014; and Continuing Legal Education (CLE) training, Civil Rights 101, on February 07, 2014.


Chairs report: Chair Froehle is awarded a Thank You plaque, and extends a thank you to all.  Froehle says that the City Council approved five new commissioners and reappointed current Commissioners Unni and Casey to the Commission.  January 27, 2014, will be the first full commission meeting in 2014 due to the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday on January 20.  Cake is sliced and served in honor of the Chair who chose not to seek reappointment and is departing the Commission.


Public Comment: IAD Toni Newborn and Commission Larsen make comments.


Adjournment at 7:34 PM is moved by Froehle and approved by consensus.



Last updated Apr 16, 2014



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