Minority and Justice Commission
Washington State Minority and Justice Commission
Law Offices of Preston Gates and Ellis
701 Fifth Avenue, Suite 5000
November 19, 1999
Justice Charles Z. Smith, Co-Chairperson, Presiding
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by Justice Charles Z. Smith at 1:30 o'clock in the afternoon in the offices of Preston Gates and Ellis, 701 Fifth Avenue, Suite 5000, Seattle, Washington.
Present at the meeting were: Justice Charles Z. Smith, Judge Ronald E. Cox, Judge Dennis D. Yule, Judge Deborah D. Fleck, Judge James M. Murphy, Judge Ron A. Mamiya, Judge Douglas W. Luna, Judge Vicki J. Toyohara, Robert C. Boruchowitz, Ms. Lourdes Fuentes, Ms. Leana Lamb, Tony Orange, Kenneth E. Payson, José J. Quintana, Ms. P. Diane Schneider, and Ms. Donna V. McConnell.
Persons not attending (with excused absences) were: Judge William W. Baker, Judge Anne L. Ellington, Judge Kenneth H. Kato, Judge Ricardo S. Martinez, Judge LeRoy McCullough, Judge Richard A. Jones, Judge Monica Benton, Ms. Myrna I. Contreras, Dean Donna Claxton Deming, Guadalupe Gamboa, Ms. Kazzie Katayama, Ms. Mary Campbell McQueen, Jeffrey C. Sullivan, Ms. Mary Alice Theiler, Judge David H. Armstrong, Judge Sergio Armijo, Jeffrey A. Beaver, Ms. Madelyn Botta, Judge James D. Cayce, Judge Karen B. Conoley, Lonnie Davis, David J. Della Ms. Kim Eaton, Larry M. Fehr, José E. Gaitán, Charles A. Jardine, Ms. Ada Ko, Robert Lamb, Jr., Ms. Lorraine Lee, Judge Anne Levinson, Ms. Terry Mark , Ms. Denise Marti, Richard F. McDermott, Jr., Ms. Mary Elizabeth McKnew, Ms. Esther L. Patrick, Judge Albert M. Raines, Manuel Romero, Ms. Barbara J. Selberg, Judge Clifford L. "Kip" Stilz, Jr., Judge Philip J. Thompson, Brian A. Tsuchida, Judge Patricia M. Warnick and Ms. Mary I. Yu.
The minutes of the November 5, 1999 Executive Committee meeting were presented for approval. The minutes were approved subject to any necessary editorial revision.
The minutes of the September 24, 1999 Commission meeting were presented for approval. The minutes were approved subject to any necessary editorial revision.
Report of Co-Chairpersons
Justice Charles Z. Smith deferred the Report of the Co-chairpersons to Judge James M. Murphy. Judge Murphy gave a report on behalf of Justice Charles W. Johnson regarding a discussion by the Executive Committee meeting about the frequency of Executive Committee and Commission meetings. Since the majority of the work of the Commission is done within its five sub-committees, it does not seem to be practical to hold four Commission meetings per year. After a brief discussion, the Commission acted on a recommendation by the Executive Committee for a semi-annual business meeting schedule, with one annual open agenda meeting per year. The motion was made, seconded and approved. The Commission discussed the development of a half-year meeting schedule and the most appropriate day of the week (perhaps Fridays) to hold meetings. Justice Smith and Ms. Donna V. McConnell will develop a six-month meeting schedule.
Report of the Executive Director
Ms. Donna V. McConnell reported to the Commission that the 1998 annual report has been printed and mailed to all appropriate parties, including the Washington State judiciary, legislature, and elected officials; the National Consortium of Task Forces and Commissions on Racial and Ethnic Bias in the Courts; law schools; law libraries; bar associations; and other interested organizations and individuals.
An artist for the 1999 annual report cover has been identified and was asked to submit several concepts for consideration. The artwork, when complete, will also be used on notecards and posters as in the past. Justice Smith asked every Commission member to send Ms. McConnell a black and white photograph for use in the 1999 annual report. The report will be dedicated to Dr. Charles H. Sheldon.
Ms. McConnell reported that as of November 17, 1999, approximately 725 hits have been made to the Commission website. A demonstration of the website was postponed until the next business meeting.
Commission members reviewed the most recent Project Status Report provided by Ms. McConnell. She called their attention to changes on the report since the September 24 Commission meeting.
1999-2001 Biennium Budget Status Report
The Executive Committee approved the 1999-2001 biennium budget at its meeting on November 5. Ms. McConnell reported on specific expenditures including $15,800 for the annual report, four (4) months salary and benefits for the Executive Director, approximately $3,000 in travel including some consultant travel costs, $10,000 for research and report writing, July 23 meeting expenses, and the balance in supplies and postage.
Liaison to the Gender and Justice Commission
Ms. Lourdes Fuentes announced the new pilot program date of Saturday, February 26, 2000 for the joint project between the Minority and Justice and Gender and Justice Commissions using the curriculum When Bias Compounds: Insuring Equal Justice for Women of Color in the Courts. The program plans to use vignettes from the Minority and Justice Commission videotape along with live scenes performed by theatre group actors. The program at the fall judicial conference will be a plenary session.
The Gender and Justice Commission requested $10,000 from the Minority and Justice Commission - $6,000 for the pilot program and $4,000 to be earmarked for the fall judicial conference program. Because a quorum of the Executive Committee was present to vote on the matter, the request was put in the form of a motion which was seconded, and the Committee approved the funds from the Education Sub-committee budget. The recommendation was immediately moved to the floor for Commission action. The request was approved by the Commission.
Reports from the Sub-committees
Workforce Diversity Sub-committee
Judge Deborah D. Fleck had requested authorization from the King County Superior Court to pursue the development of an extern program. She received authorization to pursue development of the program, the expenses of which will be adsorbed by Professor Speedy Rice of Gonzaga University. The program will expand opportunities for students, including students of color, who would receive college credit for up to one-half day of participation as an extern to the court system. Judge Fleck will also meet with Seattle University and University of Washington officials about an extern program. An extern program will assist in pursuing networking and placement opportunities for students, particularly since the program will be endorsed by the courts. The Workforce Diversity Sub-committee will work with the courts in the selection process to identify and develop a diverse applicant pool.
Judge Fleck updated the Minority and Justice Commission on the recruitment and retention notebook project. University of Washington, Washington State University and Central Washington University have all responded to a letter from Judge Fleck about the project. The Sub-committee will review proposals in February.
Judge Fleck asked Ms. Donna V. McConnell to update the Commission about the on-line workforce diversity resource directory project. To date, all 720 records have been entered into the database. Kenneth Payson has been working with the Administrator for the Courts webmaster, Ms. Virginia Neal, on search features and parameters.
Judge Fleck reported that Judge Richard A. Jones and Judge LeRoy McCullough will soon meet to develop a process to distribute Minority and Justice Commission products like the videotape Cultural Competency: Rising to the Challenge to the bench to further hands-on education of the judiciary. Judge Fleck requested Judge Ron A. Mamiya's participation with this project. Judge Mamiya agreed to work with Judge Jones and Judge McCullough.
Judge Fleck has been appointed by Chief Justice Richard P. Guy as chairperson of the "Judiciary and the Media Committee." The committee will review issues related to the perceived disenfranchisement of communities of color. The Committee will develop regular public service announcements and full-page newspaper advertisements describing the judiciary and legal community. Costs for the program will be absorbed by the Washington State Broadcaster's Association.
Judge Fleck reported on the "We The People" national program for fifth, eighth, and eleventh grade students which links schools and civic entities and promotes the concepts of democracy and government. Judges and teachers work together in this program using free textbooks and donated time, and it has received bi-partisan support. Spokane County is currently involved in the program. Judge Fleck will circulate a letter and proposal about the program.
In the absence of Judge Kenneth H. Kato, Justice Smith reported on the pre-draft copy of The Impact of Race and Ethnicity on Charging and Sentencing Processes for Drug Offenders in Three Counties of Washington State. The Commission will receive a copy of the draft report for its review and consideration the first week of December.
Justice Smith mentioned to the Minority and Justice Commission that photographs of all the Washington State women judges of color are being sought for publication in the Equal Justice newsletter which will feature Judge Veronica Simmons McBeth, Presiding Judge, Los Angeles Municipal Court, with additional articles or biographies on the other judges. The theme is Justice and Women of Color.
Evaluation and Implementation Sub-committee
Judge James M. Murphy reported to the Minority and Justice Commission that the Evaluation and Implementation Sub-committee has begun its study of Court Rule 3.2. The Sub-committee will meet again in approximately two (2) months to review the July and December 1999 Commission-sponsored research reports by Dr. Rodney Engen on sentencing and charging practices for drug offenders in Washington State.
Judge Ronald E. Cox announced to the Minority and Justice Commission that portions of the videotape "Cultural Competency…." were shown during the cultural diversity education programs at the November 3, 1999 Institute for New Court Employees and Bailiffs and will be used during the joint project with the Gender and Justice Commission Education Sub-committee. Consultants for the cultural diversity program at the 2000 Judicial College will also use segments of the videotape. Judge Cox will pursue the possibility of videotape usage for those law school professors who teach ethics courses. The Commission is interested in expanding the videotape with additional interviews of representatives from Eastern Washington. Ms. McConnell will discuss the options with producers of the videotape, Chandler and Associates.
The Minority and Justice Commission recognized that Kenneth Payson has been elected to the Board of Governors of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:00 in the afternoon.