Meeting Minutes: March 4, 2019

SPJ/LA Board of Directors March Meeting Minutes
Monday, March 4, 2019
Louise’s Trattoria
10645 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Present: Penny Arevalo, Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins, Stephanie Bluestein, Jason Lewis,
Kathryn Mora, Frank Mottek, Lori Streifler, Alice Walton,David Zahniser, Joel
Bellman, Elizabeth Marcellino, Richard Saxton, Tom Bray, Lori Streifler, Natalie
Windsor, Navid Nonahal, Sarah Favot
Meeting called to order at 7:12 p.m.

I. Approval of minutes –
II. President’s report – Bluestein is making progress on reaching out to other
journalism organizations. Has been in contact with the NABJ for an event in
late March.
III. Treasurer’s report – Marcellino –
Blaize-Hopkins moved to receive the treasurer’s report. Saxton seconded. Approved.

IV. Standing/Ad Hoc Committees
a. Awards – Streifler and Wick
b. Banquet – Walton Banquet- Wednesday March 20th at the Omni Hotel in
downtown. Tom putting together the program. Walton encouraged board members to sell program ads. She will circulate ad rates.
c. Courts – Marcellino
d. Diversity – Lewis- Nathan Solis is leading the way on a panel discussion
about how newsrooms should cover Donald Trump’s presidency. Julia
Wick has also been involved in planning. The NABJ has agreed to
partner for this discussion. Date and location is still being worked out.
e. Ethics – Bellman
f. FOI – Zahniser- Still working with the San Diego Chapter on the
statement on SB 615 regarding the police record. San Diego Chapter
still hasn’t done it. Their board meeting is March 5. It looks like it’s
going to go forward.
g. Generation J – Blaize-Hopkins – KCRW newsroom tour on Friday April
26, 11 a.m. Meet and greet with journalist. April 17 SMC’s Bundy
campus, co-sponsoring with ONA-LA. Discussion about online bullying.
h. Membership – Nonahal
i. Nominations – Bray
j. Scholarships – Saxton- Release goes out in May, deadline is in June.
Bluestein proposes that we do a reception.

V. Old Business
a. Possible response from chapter regarding UCLA’s continued delay of our CPRA requests. Motion by Bellman that we write a letter to UC board of Regents. Second by Nonahal. Approved.
b. Update on proposed scholarship funding from non-profit organization.
We’re a 501c6, not a 501c3. They’re a 501c3. According to a tax attorney, we can
accept a grant, but it will not be tax deductible. So there will be tax
implications. Bluestein does not want us to pay the expenses. She will speak to a non-profit attorney.

VI. New Business-
Approval of travel expenses for chapter president to attend
SPJ region 11 conference March 29-31. $65 for the admission, airfare is $373.96.
Bluestein has offered to pay half of the flight. Golden Nugget is $268.94.
$520.92 total. Bellman moved to approve the expenses., seconded by Favot. Motion passes.

VII. Adjournment at 8:12 p.m. in memory of Jeanne Lisker Bellman, David
Horowitz, Irwin Tallerico
Zahniser moved to adjourn. Favot seconded. Approved.

Next meeting: Monday, April 1 at Louise’s Trattoria

Meeting Minutes: Feb. 11, 2019

SPJ/LA Board of Directors February Meeting Minutes
Monday, Feb. 11, 2019
Louise’s Trattoria
10645 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Present: Penny Arevalo, Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins, Stephanie Bluestein, Carolina Garcia,
Jason Lewis, Kathryn Mora, Frank Mottek, Nathan Solis, Lori Streifler, Alice Walton,
Robi Wax, Julia Wick, David Zahniser

Meeting called to order at 7:12 p.m.

I. Approval of minutes – Bluestein reported that the minutes should be
amended to include that via email, the board approved a slate of associate
board members. Blaize-Hopkins said the minutes should be amended to
accurately reflect her last name. Mottek moved to approved, Blaize-Hopkins
seconded. Minutes approved.
II. President’s report – Bluestein reported she will attend the Region 11
Conference in Las Vegas at the end of March. She will report back to the
board in March regarding expenses for the conference. Bluestein also
reported that she continues to work with the Nonprofit Communications
and Media Network to accept the nonprofit's remaining $40,000 in
scholarship funds. Initial advice is that the chapter will not have to pay
taxes on the money if it is given as a donation. Mottek offered to help
Bluestein find a tax expert to confirm that information.

III. Treasurer’s report – Marcellino
Mottek moved to receive the Treasurer’s report. Garcia seconded. Approved.

IV. Standing/Ad Hoc Committees
a. Awards –
b. Banquet – Walton reported the banquet has about 50 RSVPs. The goal
is to get another 75-100. Walton encouraged board members to reach
out to their networks — colleagues, friends, academic institutions — and
encourage people to attend the event. If people cannot attend the
banquet, they should be encouraged to donate $80 for a student ticket.
Walton will reach out to more news organizations regarding table
sponsorship. Mottek and Walton continue to work to find a speaker for
the event.
c.Courts –
d. Diversity – Lewis – Working with Solis and Wick on panel discussion.
e. Ethics – report giving by David Zahniser. San Diego chapter wants to
put out a statement on law enforcement. LA Times report about police
misconduct. Difficult to get information. Bill passed into law that
required the release of information. Departments are still denying newspapers access to records. Newspapers sued Sacramento over this.
Going into litigation. San Diego chapter is drafting a statement about
this. Both chapters putting out a statement would be a good idea.
Worth taking a position and putting out a statement.
f. FOI –
g. Generation J – Blaize-Hopkins – Setting up a tour with journalist at
KCRW. Reaching out to campus newsrooms.
h. Membership –
i. Nominations –
j. Scholarships –

V. Old Business None
a. PIO Panel on Jan. 26– Favot

VI. New Business- $924.50 for six months for directors and officers insurance.
Bluestein is in favor of continuing with the insurance. David Zahniser
moved for approval and second by Julia Wick. Approved.
Solis is planning a panel discussing racism in the age of Trump. Lewis and
Wick will work with him on this event.
Wick spoke about having a panel on either cannabis or homelessness.
Bluestein is looking to meet with leaders of other journalism organizations.

VII. Adjournment
Mottek moved to adjourn the meeting. Wick seconded. Approved.

Next meeting: Monday, March 4 at Louise’s Trattoria

2019 Scholarship Award Recipients

The Society of Professional Journalists Greater Los Angeles Pro Chapter is proud to award a total of $8,000 in scholarships to five students pursuing a career in journalism.

“It is our chapter’s honor to give a well-deserved boost to these hard-working students. They represent all that is good and noble in journalism. They give us hope for the future,” said Stephanie Bluestein, SPJ/LA chapter president.

And the 2019 SPJ/LA scholarship winners are…

Richard D. Hendrickson Memorial Scholarship
Text/print journalism – Stephanie Lai – UCLA

Ken Inouye Memorial Scholarship
Ethnic diversity – Kate Sequeira – USC

Helen Johnson Memorial Scholarship
Broadcast journalism – Blake Atwell – Santa Monica College

Carl Greenberg Memorial Scholarship
Investigative or political reporting – Kaidi (Ruby) Yuan – USC

Bill Farr Memorial Scholarship
College journalism majors or high school students who will be majoring in journalism – Julie Madsen – UC Berkeley

Below is the brief history of the five scholarships:

Richard Hendrickson Memorial Scholarship–This scholarship is awarded to college students who demonstrate a strong intent to pursue a career in text/print journalism. Hendrickson, a longtime newspaper reporter and editor before becoming a college professor, was serving as SPJ/LA’s treasurer when he died unexpectedly in July 2018. ($2,000)

Ken Inouye Memorial Scholarship–This scholarship is awarded to a college journalist of color and is aimed at increasing ethnic diversity in newsrooms. Inouye was a 22-year-old cameraman for the International News Service and was covering the Korean War when he was killed aboard an Army aircraft. ($1,500)

Helen Johnson Memorial Scholarship–This scholarship is awarded to a college student pursuing broadcast journalism. Johnson was a producer of “Channel 4 News Conference” and an associate producer of “Meet the Press.” ($1,500)

Carl Greenberg Memorial Scholarship–This scholarship is awarded to a college student pursuing investigative or political reporting. Greenberg was a political reporter at the Los Angeles Times, famed for being singled out by President Richard Nixon as the only reporter who covered him “fairly.” ($1,500)

Bill Farr Memorial Scholarship–This scholarship is awarded to high school seniors or college students who demonstrate a strong intent to pursue a career in journalism. Farr, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, sat in county jail for 46 days for refusing to tell a judge which lawyers had violated a gag order during the Charles Manson murder trial. ($1,500)

Annual Journalism Mega Mixer

The Greater Los Angeles Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists
invites you to mix, mingle, mega schmooze, socialize, have fun and network all at the
same time. The July 10 mixer will feature complimentary appetizers and a cash
bar.

The Journalism Mega Mixer is hosted by:
• Greater L.A. Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists
• Asian American Journalists Association
• L.A. Press Club
• Online News Association
• National Association of Black Journalists – Los Angeles

WHAT:
Annual Journalism Mega Mixer

WHEN:
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
6 – 9 p.m.

WHERE:
Molly Malone’s Irish Pub
575 S. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

COST:
The mixer is free and open to all. Complimentary appetizers. Cash bar.

PARKING:
Limited parking behind the building. Street parking also available. Free parking at
LACMA after 7pm. 5905 Wilshire Blvd. Petersen Museum parking is $12.

RSVP:
Please RSVP by sending an email to: spjlosangeles@gmail.com

Contact:
Richard Saxton, SPJ/LA Board Member
spjlosangeles@gmail.com

SPJ/LA Receives UCLA Correspondence About Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Visit

Nearly 14 months after tendering its request under the California Public Records Act, SPJ/LA received a total of six emails from UCLA in response to the chapter’s request for all materials relating to a controversial 2018 campus appearance by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Mnuchin appeared on campus on February 26, 2018 at the invitation of UCLA’s Burkle Center for International Relations to deliver the Center’s annual lecture, an event open to the public and like prior lectures, recorded for subsequent posting on the Center’s website.

During the Q&A, Mnuchin was heckled by several disruptive students, who were quickly removed from the room to allow the program to proceed. As a result, Mnuchin’s office objected to posting the recording.

UCLA initially complied with Mnuchin’s request, but after an outcry from SPJ/LA and other journalism organizations and political groups, quickly reversed itself and posted the lecture, here. But SPJ/LA and other organizations, including the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and political supporters of the protesters, independently filed public-records requests concerning Mnuchin’s appearance.

SPJ/LA filed its request on March 7, 2018. After six months of auto-generated email delays, SPJ/LA publicly complained on September 20, 2018 about UCLA’s sluggish response. After another six months of unsigned robo-email delays, on March 28, 2019, SPJ/LA formally complained to the UC Board of Regents about UCLA’s continuing failure to comply with the state public-records law.

Finally, and only after FIRE had already filed a lawsuit against UCLA over the same batch of records, UCLA responded to FIRE’s and SPJ/LA’s request by producing the six emails.

While the brief exchange doesn’t tell the full story, it appears that UCLA thought that Mnuchin’s office had consented in advance to post the recording, was told after the lecture by Mnuchin’s staff that they had not agreed to such an arrangement, and realized the need for more explicit advance agreement in writing to resolve any ambiguity and insure against similar problems recurring in the future. UCLA furnished no information about, or explanation behind, the reversal that ultimately led the university to post the recorded appearance.

The most troubling aspect of SPJ/LA’s year-long ordeal was realizing that the California Public Records Act contains no meaningful enforcement mechanism. Those seeking to utilize its provisions to shine a light on the dark corners of government must depend on “the kindness of strangers”—if not a compliant agency, then perhaps a sympathetic judge—because they are unlikely to find relief anywhere else.

Below please find the email correspondence that UCLA released to SPJ/LA in response to the chapter’s California Public Records Act request:

From: Alexandra Lieben <alieben@international.ucla.edu>
Date: Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at 5:45 PM
To: “Tony.Sayegh@treasury.gov” <Tony.Sayegh@treasury.gov>
Cc: “Wrench, Sophia” <swrench@international.ucla.edu>, “Zachary.Isakowitz@treasury.gov“<Zachary.Isakowitz@treasury.gov>
Subject: Feb. 26 – UCLA event

Hi Tony,

It was great talking with you earlier today.

To summarize what we discussed and then confirmed again before we signed off, you are okay with the Burkle Center and Marketplace audiotaping and with the Burkle Center videotaping the event. We will post both podcast and video on our Burkle Center website. Marketplace will use excerpts of the event in their show the following day and, like we do, will post the audio of the entire event on their website. We agreed to shorten the interview with The Generation, our student magazine, from 20 to 15 minutes. We also agreed to shorten Secretary Mnuchin’s introductory remarks from 15 to 5-10 minutes, as well as to shorten the conversation with Kai Ryssdal from 35 to 30 minutes. And we will leave the Q&A with the audience at 25 minutes. Thank you for agreeing to the intern photo at the end of the lecture. That only takes a few minutes and makes them very happy.

As explained, since the dinner at Mr. Burkle’s house will be in his dining room, the best possible place for a meaningful and intimate conversation, the format will be rather informal there as well. It would be wonderful if Secretary Mnuchin, after Burkle Center Kal Raustiala’s welcome, could start the conversation off with about 5 min. of solo remarks. Then Kal will ask one or two questions to get the conversation around the table started. There will be probably about 20 people present.

As you and I discussed, the easiest way for Kai Ryssdal to get a better understanding of what Secretary Mnuchin will cover in his introductory remarks at UCLA, will be for Mr. Ryssdal or his executive producer Nancy Farghalli to speak with you directly. I will e-introduce you to Nancy after this email.

We are truly excited and are very much looking forward to welcoming Secretary Mnuchin to UCLA!

Best,

Alexandra
Alexandra Lieben
Deputy Director
UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations
11353 Bunche Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095
P: (310) 206-4071
www.burkle.ucla.edu


From: Lieben, Alexandra
To: Raustiala, Kal
Subject: FW: Feb. 26 – UCLA event
Date: Wednesday, February 28, 2018 6:04:02 PM

Here is the summary of my most recent conversation with Tony Sayegh, the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs of the US Department of the Treasury. As you can see, this restates and confirms the agreement with had with them to podcast and videotape the lecture. I sent him this email as record of our conversation and he never objected to any of it. Prior to that, I had conversations about this with Zach Isakowitz and with James Littlefair, both staff members of Secretary Mnuchin’s office.

Alexandra
Alexandra Lieben
Deputy Director
UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations
p: (310)206-4071
f: (310)206-3555
alieben@international.ucla.edu
www.international.ucla.edu/burkle


From: Kal Raustiala <raustiala@law.ucla.edu>
Date: Wednesday, February 28, 2018 at 6:06 PM
To: Alexandra Lieben <alieben@international.ucla.edu>
Subject: Re: Feb. 26 – UCLA event

Great. I think in the future with sitting gov officials we probably want them to affirmatively say yes or something to that effect. But this is good.


From: alexandra lieben
Date: Wednesday, February 28, 2018 at 6:11 PM
To: Kal Raustiala
Subject: Re: Feb. 26 – UCLA event

His media person said affirmatively yes and I confirmed it in writing. What else would you have wanted me to do?

Alexandra Lieben
Deputy Director
UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations
p: (310)206-4071
f: (310)206-3555
alieben@international.ucla.edu
www.international.ucla.edu/burkle


From: Kal Raustiala <raustiala@law.ucla.edu>
Date: Wednesday, February 28, 2018 at 6:14 PM
To: Alexandra Lieben <alieben@international.ucla.edu>
Subject: Re: Feb. 26 – UCLA event

I think this only applies to gov officials, and you didn’t do anything wrong—no one anticipated this– but for Schiff for example we should either ask them “Do we have your permission to video…” OR send them a release to sign. Or otherwise eliminate the opportunity for them to post hoc lie and say, we never agreed to that.


From: Lieben, Alexandra
To: Raustiala, Kal
Subject: Re: Feb. 26 – UCLA event
Date: Wednesday, February 28, 2018 6:16:03 PM

Okay.

Alexandra Lieben
Deputy Director
UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations
p: (310)206-4071
f: (310)206-3555
alieben@international.ucla.edu
www.international.ucla.edu/burkle

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