Minority and Justice Commission
Washington State Minority and Justice Commission
Loyola Hall, Room 302
July 23, 1999
Justice Charles Z. Smith and Justice Charles W. Johnson, Co-Chairpersons, Presiding
Call To Order
The meeting was called to order by Justice Charles Z. Smith at 8:00 o'clock in the morning in Loyola Hall, Room 302 at Seattle University in Seattle.
Justice Smith introduced Ms. Edree Allen Agbro, M.Ed., Culture Works, who facilitated the "open agenda" portion of our meeting; Ms. Pat Chandler, Chandler and Associates, and Ms. Doreen Mitchum, Ebony Eye Productions. Ms. Chandler and Ms. Mitchum produced our video vignette project titled Cultural Competency: Rising to the Challenge.
Present at the meeting were: Justice Charles Z. Smith, Justice Charles W. Johnson, Judge Monica J. Benton, Judge Ronald E. Cox, Judge Anne L. Ellington, Judge Deborah D. Fleck, Judge Richard A. Jones, Judge Kenneth H. Kato, Judge Ron A. Mamiya, Judge LeRoy McCullough, Judge James M. Murphy, Ms. Myrna I. Contreras, Ms. Donna Claxton Deming, Ms. Kazzie Katayama, Jeffrey C. Sullivan, Ms. Mary Alice Theiler, Judge Anne Levinson, Judge Philip J. Thompson, Jeffrey A. Beaver, Robert C. Boruchowitz, Lonnie Davis, David J. Della, José E. Gaitán, Ms. Ada Ko, Ms. Terry Mark, Ms. Denise C. Marti, Ms. Esther L. Patrick, Kenneth E. Payson, Ms. Barbara J. Selberg, Ms. Leana Lamb, Brian A. Tsuchida, Ms. Mary I. Yu, Ms. Pat Chandler, Ms Doreen Mitchum, Ms. Edree Allen Agbro, and Ms. Donna V. McConnell.
Persons not attending (with excused absences) were: Judge David H. Armstrong, Judge William W. Baker, Judge Ricardo S. Martinez, Guadalupe Gamboa, Ms. Mary Campbell McQueen, Judge Sergio Armijo, Judge Patricia M. Warnick, Judge James D. Cayce, Judge Karen B. Conoley, Judge Albert M. Raines, Judge Clifford L. "Kip" Stilz, Jr., Judge Vicki J. Toyohara, Ms. Madelyn Botta, Ms. Kim M. Eaton, Larry M. Fehr, Ms. Lourdes Fuentes, Charles A. Jardine, Robert Lamb, Jr., Ms. Lorraine Lee, Richard F. McDermott, Jr., Ms. Mary Elizabeth McKnew, Tony Orange, Manuel Romero, and Ms. P. Diane Schneider.
Minutes of the June 18, 1999 meeting of the Executive Committee were presented. A motion was made, seconded, and carried to approve the minutes subject to any necessary editorial revision.
Minutes of the February 26, 1999 Commission meeting will be prepared and presented to the Executive Committee and the Commission at a later date.
Report of Co-chairpersons
Justice Smith commented on the National Consortium of Task Forces and Commissions on Racial and Ethnic Bias in the Courts meeting that occurred April 29-30 and May 1, 1999 in Honolulu, Hawai'i. Thirteen Washington State Minority and Justice Commission members attended the meeting.
The Twelfth Annual Meeting of the National Consortium of Task Forces and Commissions on Racial and Ethnic Bias in the Courts will be held on May 11, 12 and 13, 2000 at the Marriott at Glenpointe, 100 Frank West, Burr Boulevard, Teaneck, New Jersey 07666. The New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Minority Concerns will host the meeting.
Justice Smith announced he has concluded his ten-year term as Moderator of the National Consortium of Task Forces and Commissions on Racial and Ethnic Bias in the Courts. He has "passed the gavel" to Judge Veronica Simmons McBeth, Presiding Judge of the Los Angeles Municipal Court.
Report of the Executive Director
Ms. McConnell-Adams discussed the status of the 1998 Minority and Justice Commission Annual Report. The editorial stage is complete. The layout and formatting stage is underway. The graphic artist was asked to modify the design work that had been previously submitted. Ms. McConnell-Adams also reported on the Executive Management Program that she attended at the University of Washington on June 21-July 2, 1999.
Ms. McConnell-Adams called to the Commission members' attention the Project Status Reports that were included in everyone's folders. The 1998-1999 reports included completed, proposed, in-process, and terminated projects by the Commission and each Sub-committee. The reports were provided for informational purposes and for use in the open agenda portion of the meeting.
Ms. McConnell-Adams reported on the purpose and proposed outcomes of the open agenda format meeting. Ms. Edree Allen Agbro's biography was presented to the Commission members. Ms. McConnell-Adams explained Ms. Allen Agbro's role in the meeting as a facilitator who will help with the process of the meeting and not the content.
Ms. McConnell-Adams called attention to the budget status reports that were included in the meeting packets. She also explained the budget request forms and process to the Commission members.
Sub-committee chairpersons are asked to prepare and submit budget request forms to the Finance Committee by September 10, 1999 at the Executive Committee meeting.
Racial Disparity Project Report
Robert C. Boruchowitz gave a report on the 18-month grant from the National Justice Institute to reduce racial disparity in the King County justice system.
He also discussed the Issues for Discussion Regional Law, Safety, and Justice Committee June 24, 1999 documents that were included in the meeting packets. Mr. Boruchowitz introduced Leo Hamaji and Ms. Lisa Daugaard who are also working on the National Justice Institute Grant.
Mr. Boruchowitz discussed some of the Commission's past reports and how they were used in preparation for this grant project. Suggested projects as a result of the grant are possible joint training with the police, the state bar and the State Criminal Justice Institute.
Mr. Hamaji and Ms. Daugaard reported on their project-related activities, and use of law enforcement statistics. They discussed how clients and the community are involved in the projects and how data is collected on car impoundments.
The goals of the grant are to develop items for discussion that are thought provoking and to recommend items for change. Some of the questions they plan to address are about the courts in general, inflexibility of fine and fee payment plans, possible revenue increases, issuance of tickets and suspension of licenses.
Liaison to the Gender and Justice Commission
In Ms. Lourdes Fuentes' absence, Justice Smith reported on the upcoming pilot education program using the curriculum "When Bias Compounds: Insuring Equal Justice for Women of Color in the Courts." The program will be presented to the Minority and Justice Commission and the Gender and Justice Commission on either January 22, 1999 or January 23, 1999.
Reports from Sub-committees
Judge Ronald E. Cox introduced video production specialists, Ms. Pat Chandler and Ms. Doreen Mitchum. Ms. Chandler introduced the video titled, "Cultural Competency: Rising to the Challenge,? which was premiered in its entirety during the lunch hour. Five minutes of the introductory segment was shown as part of the Education Sub-committee report.
Evaluation and Implementation Sub-committee
Judge James M. Murphy thanked everyone for attending this special meeting and for the time to get together. He believes that the quality of everyone's Commission-related work should improve because of today's activities.
Judge Murphy gave a brief history of the Evaluation and Implementation Sub-committee and its current proposed activity, which is an analysis and recommendations for the application of Court Rule 3.2.
Ms. Myrna I. Contreras commented on the July 1999 issue of the Equal Justice newsletter. Ms. Contreras explained the July issue will feature Frederick Paul, founder of the Northwest Indian Bar Association. The issue will include articles about the Tribal Court System and Indian Law.
Judge Kenneth H. Kato reported on Dr. Rodney L. Engen's draft report titled, "Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Sentencing Outcomes for Drug Offenders in Washington State: FY 1996 to FY 1999." Judge Kato asked Ms. McConnell-Adams to send a copy of the draft report to all Commission members for their information.
Judge Kato explained that part 2 of the research study entitled, "The Impact of Race and Ethnicity on Charging and Sentencing Processes for Drug Offenders in Washington State" is due September 30, 1999.
Judge Kato also discussed the upcoming judicial clerkship survey, which is intended to determine the number of persons of color in such positions.
Workforce Diversity Sub-committee
Judge Deborah D. Fleck reported on the June 14, 1999 Workforce Diversity Sub-committee meeting. Judge Fleck restated the two main goals of the Workforce Diversity Sub-committee: (1) providing workforce diversity education for existing court personnel; and (2) recruiting, hiring, retaining, and promoting minority court personnel.
Judge Fleck gave a brief review of the Eleventh Annual National Consortium of Task Forces and Commissions on Racial and Ethnic Bias in the Courts notebook and discussed for whom Workforce Diversity Sub-committee programs should be offered. It was decided that judges should remain the primary target audience because they are leaders.
The Sub-committee discussed presenting an educational program at the Fall Judges' Conference, including a presentation at the 2001 Fall Judges' Conference, which is a joint venture with the Washington State Bar Association.
The sub-committee agreed by consensus to sponsor a national speaker for a mutually agreed upon future judicial conference in lieu of an educational program.
The Sub-committee discussed possible characteristics of a national speaker. It was suggested to use someone who had personal experience with resistance to diversity and who had managed to work through it. An important factor is to use someone from the judiciary/court system so he or she will be received as a peer.
The sub-committee also discussed whether the national speaker should discuss current events. Some discussion occurred on possible national speakers.
After a brief recess, the Commission began the Open Agenda meeting.
The meeting of the Commission was adjourned at 3:30 p.m.