ACLU-HI Newsletter: Vol. 37, No. 4

 

 

 

 

About this newsletter/masthead

Feature stories in this issue:

  • Free public event 9/29/12! “The Supreme Court: Politics and Principle in an Election Year” (RSVP today!)
  • Coming up! Save the dates for Neighbor Island ‘Ohana Talk Story events
  • Cover story: Title IX – 40 Years Fighting Gender Bias in Our Schools (update on Baldwin HS Softball Field!)
  • Cover Story: “Show Me Your Papers” – Arizonaʻs Un-American Idea
  • Special Report: Bias Against Native Hawaiians in Hawaii Criminal Justice System

Board, volunteer and community spotlights:

  • Board Profile: Esther Solomon (Kauai)
  • Volunteer spotlight: Nancy Davlantes, Legislative Working Group
  • Youth Award Nominations – Open through 10/12/2012!

Legislative Update:

  • 2012 Legislative report – now online!
  • Gender Rights Win!
  • Privacy Rights Win!

Governance and Fundraising:

  • Governance Corner
  • Giving to the ACLU is easy and a powerful way to strengthen fundamental rights
    • Giving Online, Giving with a Pledge Card
    • “Hana Hou” Matching Gift for 2012
    • Legacy Challenge 2012
    • “Give Aloha” at Foodland and Sack-n-Save runs thru 9/30/12
    • Aloha United Way
    • 2012 Lawyersʻ Amicus Campaign

About this newsletter/masthead: Vol. 37, No. 4, published September, 2012. The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai‘i (“ACLU of Hawaii”) ‘Ohana News is published by the ACLU of Hawaii. It is mailed and/or provided online free of charge to members and supporters. This is not a subscription publication. We do not accept unsolicited articles or advertisements. For information about becoming a member of the ACLU, please visit the national ACLU website

The ACLU of Hawai‘i is comprised of two separate corporate entities, the ACLU of Hawai‘i and the ACLU of Hawai‘i Foundation. Both are part of the same overall organization. This newsletter collectively refers to the two organizations under the name “ACLU of Hawai‘i,” whose mission is to protect the civil liberties contained in the state and federal constitutions through litigation, lobbying, and public education programs statewide. 

The ACLU is funded primarily through private donations and offers its services at no cost to the public. The ACLU does not accept any government funds.

Address: Box 3410 Honolulu, HI 96801
Website: http://www.acluhawaii.org
Email: office@acluhawaii.org
Tel:(808) 522-5900  (Neighbor Isles toll-free:(877) 544-5906)
Fax:(808) 522-5909

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Free public event 9/29/12!

“The Supreme Court: Politics and Principle in an Election Year” (RSVP today!) 

Sat., Sept. 29, 1-3 p.m., Blaisdell Center Maui Room (2nd Floor above Galleria)

Free, but RSVP required to assist our budget and planning.  RSVP by Friday, 9/21/12 via email or phone (808) 522-5906 or toll-free from the neighbor islands: (1-877) 544-5906.  ADA accessible. Request special accommodation by 9/14/12.

Join the ACLU of Hawaii for the much-anticipated return of National ACLU Legal Director Steven Shapiro, a dynamic speaker and expert on the U.S. Supreme Court. An adjunct professor of constitutional law at Columbia Law School, Shapiro also serves on the Policy Committee of Human Rights Watch.

Coming up! Save the dates for

Neighbor Island ‘Ohana Talk Story Events!

Neighbor Islands ‘Ohana: Save the dates! Nov. 28 thru 12/2

ACLU-HI “Talk Story” events are being planned for early Late November/December, 2012. Watch for a special mailed invite to your island’s event later in 2012!

* NOTE: these dates are flexible, and updated from the mailed version of the Newsletter! Mahalo- Ed.

Title IX – 40 Years Fighting Gender Bias in Our Schools

By 2012 Summer Intern Erica Choi

School might be out, but summer marks a triumph for civil rights in education.  June 23, 2012 was the 40th anniversary of Title IX, also known as the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act.  This landmark law prohibits sex discrimination in schools and is responsible for an almost 90 percent increase in female sports participation since 1972. Although most people know that Title IX requires schools to provide girls and boys with equal athletic opportunities, it goes much further and requires that our schools are free from gender-based discrimination across all educational and extra-curricular programs.

Under Title IX, all students have access to the same educational opportunities, so that boys and girls alike can achieve their full potential. This means that schools must prevent and respond to sexual harassment, bullying of students who do not conform to gender stereotypes and physical violence such as rape and sexual assault. It also means that schools may not rely on gender stereotypes to separate boys and girls or offer them different educational programming, and that students who become pregnant or who care for a child are allowed to finish their education free from discouragement or hostility.

Hawaii’s own Patsy Takemoto Mink was the principal author and driving force behind Title IX. Although Mink passed away in 2002, one can imagine that she would be pleased at the reach of Title IX and adamant about ensuring that sex discrimination in education is eliminated in Hawaii.

Hawaii’s school system still has work to do.  In a 2010 case by the ACLU of Hawaii, three Baldwin High School softball players, their parents, and the softball team’s coach charged the Hawaii State Department of Education and the County of Maui with sex discrimination under Title IX, and won. The inequity between the boys’ and girls’ practice fields was so stark that federal court Judge David Alan Ezra required the county to make immediate improvements, noting that the treatment of the girls softball team was a violation “on its face” and “without reservation” of Title IX and the Fourteenth Amendment.

The suit was a victory for gender equity in our schools.  As a result of the settlement, $1 million was provided to construct a new softball field on Baldwin’s Wailuku, Maui campus.  Construction of the field was completed early in 2012.  Lahainaluna High School, Moanalua High School, Nanakuli High School and Molokai High School will also see improvements to their softball facilities pursuant to Title IX.

Tayler Shimizu, one of the students who brought the suit, graduated before the new field was completed.  Although she did not get a chance to practice on it during high school, she recently had a chance to play on it.  She said, “The new field is 100x’s better than the county field” the team had used for practice in the past. When asked what she’d like to say to upcoming youth facing unfairness or discrimination, she said: “I would like to tell future generations to stand up for yourselves.”  Trisha Nobriga, another student who filed suit, added, “The best thing to come out of this lawsuit is that if my little sister chooses to go to Baldwin High School, I will be able to see her play on the field my teammates and I helped to create.”

Despite these victories, gender gaps within the educational system are still widely prevalent.  In the 2010-2011 school year, there were over 1.3 million more male high school athletes than female athletes nationally, and in Hawaii, female students represented only 42% of all high school athletes.

Girls and boys deserve an equal opportunity to receive a quality education in a safe and respectful environment free of sex stereotypes.  We need to ensure that all schools in Hawaii are within full compliance of Title IX’s provisions, and to join the fight of youth in our education system to face and conquer gender discrimination.  Together, we can continue Mink’s legacy and guarantee that all of Hawaii’s keiki are on the same playing field.

Gender Equity for Baldwin High School, then and now: In 2010, the Girlsʻ Softball Team was relocated by school officials to make way for a practice mound for the boys baseball team. They were forced to play over a mile from campus on a non-regulation field with no equipment storage, no dugout. The field was in such bad shape that to avoid injury, the team had to sweep the field each day prior to practice for rocks, while the boys played in a regulation stadium with an air conditioned pressbox, batting cages, storage and more – right on campus (photo: Joe Duran):

Thanks to the lawsuit and Title IX, the Baldwin High School girls softball team now has a regulation field free of rocks, closer to campus – with a restroom, locker for gear and a team dugout (photos: Gail Gnazzo):

“Show Me Your Papers” – Arizonaʻs Un-American Idea

By 2012 Summer Intern Yeremey Krivoshey

On June 25, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down three key parts of Arizona’s intensely debated immigration law. The ruling sent a clear message to states: leave immigration enforcement to the federal government, as required by the Constitution. The court did allow the most controversial aspect– the “Show Me Your Papers” provision – to stand – at least for now.  This provision may ultimately be struck down, too, if state police are found to be using “racial profiling” to identify people they suspect may be undocumented.

Whenever state police stop anyone for even the slightest infraction, Show Me Your Papers requires the arrest or holding of any such person to check her immigration status if the police have a “reasonable suspicion” the person is here illegally. This “reasonable suspicion” is based on highly subjective factors like perceived race, ethnicity, accent, fluency in English, last name, etc. For example, police in Arizona could be required to check immigration status after stopping someone for not walking her dog on a leash. Anyone under arrest can be held as long as it takes for police to determine that person’s immigration status. In essence, the law creates a dangerous loophole that requires police to act as immigration officials and to violate the civil rights of anyone that happens to sound, look, or act like a foreigner.

In allowing the provision to stand, but leaving the door open for future challenges, the Court acknowledged that “Show Me Your Papers” could be potentially mis-used by police to illegally discriminate on the basis of race. In response, the ACLU and other civil rights organizations immediately filed another lawsuit to stop it.  The ACLU has also raised a $8.77 million national warchest to fight “Show me Your Papers” in Arizona and any copycat laws in other states.

“Show Me Your Papers” type laws come at considerable cost: swift federal retaliation, potential billion dollar losses from a depleted workforce, diminished tax revenues, and high legal fees involved in inevitable lawsuits. These kinds of laws can also destabilize key industries that have depended on a migrant force for decades.

Beyond the economic and legal issues, “Show Me Your Papers” worst cost is the abandonment of American ideals. ”Show Me Your Papers” is, until it is struck down entirely, an insult to those that came before us and a dangerous departure from our founding principles of equal protection and due process. Every person in the U.S. can now be detained in Arizona for the way they look, act or sound – a short step from the creation of an outright police state.

Special Report: Bias Against native Hawaiians in Hawaii Criminal Justice System

By 2012 Summer Intern Ama Debrah

Read the Full version here: https://acluhi.org/2012/06/20/special-report-bias-against-native-hawaiians-in-hawaii-criminal-justice-system/

Board Profile: Esther Solomon (Kauai)

A Kauai Island resident since 1982, and board member since 2005, Esther Solomon has served (since 2006) as Chair of the Youth Affairs Committee* – tasked with leading the charge to involve Hawaii’s young people in the ACLU mission.

She is an active member of her community and the ACLU on civil liberties issues of juvenile justice, reproductive rights, gender equality and prisoners’ rights.  Esther has been an ACLU member since 1984, because, she said: “The ACLU is the most important organization in the U.S. because it protects everyone’s rights.  And yes, I do carry my ACLU card!”

Esther works as the Lead Health Care Associate and Community Liaison Specialist for Planned Parenthood of Hawaii, Kaua’i – a much-needed voice on an island with no access to abortion services! Involved also on end-of-life issues, Esther also donates her time with Share the Care: an organization that organizes teams to help provide care for the elderly and ill. An avid gardener and cook, Esther grows most of her own produce under Kauai’s shining sun.

* Youth Affairs Committee members: John Bickel, Adam Chang, Anthony Chang, Gail Gnazzo, Karen Lee, Brooke Wilson, Jackie Young.

Volunteer spotlight: Legislative Working Group

By Nancy Davlantes

When I moved back to Hawaii in October 2009, after 22 years in Milwaukee, I vowed that this time around I would become more involved in the local chapters of organizations I’ve supported for years because they were concerned with the areas of importance to me. In the case of the ACLU, I’ve been a member for more than 40 years but have never done more than contribute financially.  I needed to do more and educate myself about the way government works (or doesn’t work) here in Hawaii.

Having the opportunity to volunteer on ACLU’s legislative committee really opened my eyes to what happens during the extremely compressed legislative session, and it wasn’t always pretty.  But I learned how to navigate the legislature’s website, keep track of bills the ACLU was following, submit testimony either for or against an introduced bill, attend hearings when I could take the time from work, see just who was who in the legislature’s hierarchy,and acquaint myself with the layout of the Capitol and with the wonderful Public Access Room.

Now that I’ve gotten my feet wet, I intend to stay informed and involved and highly recommend to other members that they consider participating in the ACLU legislative committee.  It’s an interesting, educational, and eye-opening experience.

Youth Award Nominations – Open through 10/12/2012!

Visit the Youth Award Homepage for all the details! Photo, L-R: 2010 recipient Micah Inoue accepts the award from local defense attorney William Harrison and National ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero.  https://acluhi.org/know-your-rights/the-guardians-of-liberty-and-justice-youth-award/

2012 Legislative report – now online!

What Bills and Resolutions affecting civil liberties worked their way through the 2012 Hawaii State Legislature?

How did individual legislators vote on these measures?

Read the report and the per-county scorecards to find out!: https://acluhi.org/civil-liberties-and-the-2012-hawaii-state-legislature/

Gender Rights Win!

Counties ease process for transgender individuals to correct gender marker on drivers license

ACLU-HI helped counties develop a “gender designation form” to reduce the hurdles faced by trangendered people trying to get their ID to match their lived gender.

Know your rights! Get our printable guide on how to change your ID gender designation!

https://acluhi.org/know-your-rights/gender-designations-on-birth-certificates-and-government-issued-ids-regulations-by-county/

Privacy Rights Win!

Bill to ban “ID scanning” by businesses signed by governor

ACLU-HI led the charge to stop the growing practice of private business to scan & store information from Government-issued IDs.

Know your rights! Get our special “FAQ” section about this new law, and let us know if you have been illegally scanned.

https://acluhi.org/know-your-rights/protecting-your-privacy-new-law-limits-drivers-license-swiping-in-hawaii/

Governance Corner

ACLU-HI strives to adopt non-profit best practices in its organization and programs. Contact Executive Director Vanessa Chong with your feedback & suggestions. Each newsletter will highlight ways our local ACLU is adapting for the future.

A message from President Barbara Ankersmit and Executive Director Vanessa Chong:

Big Mahalo!

Activists Key to Bill of Rights Survival

Aloha no,

We are deeply grateful to our Hawaii supporters who value the ACLU mission of protecting and expanding the Bill of Rights for all people against government abuse of power. Your actions give us the capacity to fight for fairness and equality no matter how hostile the conditions.

Every day our legal, legislative and public education services – delivered statewide at no cost to the public – help individuals who become government targets and often simply because they’re poor or viewed as powerless or unpopular.

Building community awareness is crucial and in particular, ACLU is cultivating the next generation of activists – one young person at a time.

In the months ahead, we look forward to connecting with new and long-standing friends (check the Bill of Rights hotline for updates at (808) 522-5906; neighbor islanders can call toll-free at 1-877-544-5906.

You can count on the ACLU to think boldly and have the courage to act as long as we can count on you!

Giving to the ACLU is easy and a powerful way to strengthen fundamental rights

Giving Online, Giving with a Pledge Card: Visit our giving portal, www.acluhawaii.org/donate. There you can give online using PayPal,  or print out a good old fashioned pledge card. To buy some nifty ACLU gear (which also supports us!) or order free materials in our store, visit https://acluhi.org/aclu-of-hawaii-store/.

“Hana Hou” Matching Gift for 2012! Breaking news! A long-time friend of the Hawai‘i ACLU has pledged up to $50,000 to match – dollar for dollar – any new or increased donations by December 31, 2012. As an independent watchdog for the Bill of Rights, the ACLU does not accept government funding – our strength comes from the support of friends of civil liberties like you! Every donation counts – many thanks in advance

Legacy Challenge 2012: You can raise up to $10K for the ACLU without spending a penny. How? An exciting nationwide ACLU initiative called the Legacy Challenge works like this: You name the ACLU to receive a gift through your estate and our challenge donor – the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust – will make a matching donation today of 10% of your future gift’s value, up to a match of $10,000.

Half of the matching funds are shared with the Hawaii affiliate. Even though your bequest is in the future, Hawaii gets the matching gift now to meet today’s priorities. Matching funds are limited – the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust has capped their matching pledge at $2 million.

Ready to begin planning? Contact the ACLU’s Office of Gift Planning directly. There are many ways that you can plan a legacy gift and have it qualify for the Legacy Challenge. ACLU staff are ready to help you get started. Contact the ACLU, toll-free, at 877-867-1025, or fill out the confidential Bequest Intention Form online

“Give Aloha” at Foodland and Sack-n-Save runs thru 9/30/12!

Itʻs easy! Through the month of September, when at the checkout stand in any Foodland or Sack-n-Save store statewide, add a gift the the ACLU by using the code “77407” (they have an alphabetical code index in case you forget). Your give comes anonymously to the ACLU…and is boosted by a shared gift from Foodland and Western Union! You can give any amount up to $259, anytime you shop.  For more info: http://www.foodland.com/our-community/give-aloha

Aloha United Way

AUW makes it so easy to give! Use our agency designation number on you AUW form: ACLUHI = 71110

Ask about it at work, and mahalo for your support!

2012 Lawyersʻ Amicus Club Campaign

A campaign by lawyers, for lawyers, supporting the local ACLU. Over 400 attorneys statewide give annually! Give online or get a pledge card: https://acluhi.org/donate/

2012 Leadership: Co-Chairs Sheryl Nicholson & Nadine Ando, Wesley Chang, Roger Fonseca, Paul Grable, Edward Kemper, Edward Knox, Marianita Lopez, Robert Merce, Judith Ann Pavey, Evan Shirley, Elbridge Smith, Moana Yost, Nancy Youngren