ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

July 21, 2014

2014.07.21: Special appeal to 1199 members regarding free speech grievance

Filed under: Free Speech,International Human Rights,Palestine,Racism — nyclaw01 @ 1:44 pm

From:    Herschel, Lucy
Sent:   Monday, July 21, 2014 1:44 PM
To:     1199 Members
Cc:     ALAA MEMBERS
Subject:        Special appeal to 1199 members regarding free speech grievance
Importance:     High

Dear 1199 sisters and brothers, folks probably have seen this grievance that Michael Letwin from ALAA sent out (below).

In addition to Michael, I also received a personal email warning from Management after posting information about a protest regarding the current situation in Israel/Palestine.  (also below)

I understand that this is a controversial topic and that people have a very strong emotions on both sides of this issue.  However, there is a fundamental problem if this one issue is singled out to be silenced.  Not only do people regularly post all sorts of political and non-political stuff to our union list serves, I myself have posted over the years on a range of humanitarian topics from the death penalty, police brutality, immigration issues, public education, labor issues and more.  However, it is only when I post on Palestine that I am silenced by Management.

This is an issue that effects both our unions and we are going to need solidarity to prevail.  Thirty three 1199 members, including 8 of our 12 elected 1199 delegates, have signed on so far. I would like to encourage other 1199 members at this point to consider signing on in support. You can respond to me directly to add your name.

This about defending the space for our members to engage in world around us and share info onimportant issues that impact our lives.  We are not always going to agree on those issues, but better to be engaged in what’s going on than have our heads in the sand.

In Solidarity,
Lucy Herschel, Paralegal
1199SEIU Delegate, Queens Criminal Defense Practice

*********************************************

Mass Free Speech Grievance
July 15, 2014 (151 Signers)
 
The undersigned members of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW Local 2325 and 1199SEIU Healthcare Workers East hereby join in grieving Legal Aid Society management’s attempt to ban “non-work-related matter involving the current situation in the Middle East,” as reflected in the two warnings (attached below), concerning messages to the ALAA email discussion list.
 
This censorship is just the most recent reflection of more than twelve years of pandering to complaints and threats by those seeking to silence antiwar and Palestine human rights opinion at Legal Aid.
 
Regardless of our individual political views, the targeted speech — like earlier opposition to racial segregation, the Vietnam War, or South African apartheid — is protected underALAA Collective Bargaining Agreement §§ 3.5 (“Free Speech”) and 1.5. (“Union Activities”), and under relevant 1199SEIU contractual provisions.
 
In addition, such discrimination contributes to a broader hostile work environment forArabs, Muslims, Palestinians and other people of color, in violation of ALAA Collective Bargaining Agreement § 3.1.1. (“Non-Discrimination”), CBA § 3.1.2. (“Affirmative Action”), relevant 1199SEIU contractual provisions, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.
 
It is irrelevant that ALAA has agreed to eventually relocate its discussion list from the Society’s email system. As long as the current list exists, management may not selectively censor particular views or entire topics, while at the same time turning a blind eye to innumerable political and “non-work-related” messages — often sent by the very same list members who demand censorship of others.
 
There is no “heckler’s veto” or “Palestine exception” when it comes to free speech.
 
Moreover, since recipients can easily delete, or configure their individual Outlook settings to automatically “opt-out” of, Palestinian rights (or any other) messages, management may not engage in selective censorship under the guise of additional, unfathomable, unspecified “op-out” procedures.
 
We call on management to rescind this ban, and respect our free speech rights.
 
Signers (List in Formation)
*Denotes Attorneys of Color of Legal Aid (ACLA) member
 
Michael Letwin
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Former President, ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Noha Arafa*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Azalia Torres*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Former Sr. Attorney & Attorneys of Color (ACLA) Rep., ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Noor Ahmad*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Susan Olivia Morris
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Alternate Vice President, ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Jane Sampeur*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Pooja Kothari*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Lucy Herschel
Criminal Defense-Queens
Delegate, 1199SEIU
 
Marlen S. Bodden*
Criminal Defense-Special Litigation
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Nora Carroll
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Antonia Codling*
Criminal Defense-Bronx
Affirmative Action Rep., ALAA/UAW Local 2325
 
Laurie Dick
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Monica D. Dula*
Criminal Defense-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Lisa Edwards*
Civil-Harlem
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Taylor James*
Housing Help Program, Civil-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Daniella Korotzer
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Former Vice President and Health & Safety Rep., ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Rebecca Kurti
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU
 
Patrick Langhenry
Civil-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Kristin Lew
Criminal Defense-Manhattan
Former Negotiating Committee Member, 1199SEIU
 
Florence Morgan*
Criminal Defense-Queens
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Mimi Rosenberg
Civil-Brooklyn Neighborhood Office
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Steve Terry
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Alexandra Smith
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Bahar Ansari*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Luke Schram
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Stephanie Pope
Criminal Defense-Staten Island
ALAA/UAW 2325

Brittany Thomas*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Antonio Villaamil*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Claire Nicolay
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

D. Antoinette Kirwan*
Juvenile Rights-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325

Kathryn Thiesenhusen
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Lauren Katzman
Juvenile Rights-Broklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Elena Roberts
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Aurea Gonzalez
Paralegal 1
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Rigodis Appling*
Criminal Defense-Manhattan
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Donella Green*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Dale Ventura*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Jawaid Stationwala*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Greg Johnston
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Katherine Fitzer
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Julie Fry

Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Vice President, ALAA/UAW 2325
 
ManI Tafari*
Criminal Defense-Queens
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Ferdinand Cesarano
Criminal Defense-Central Admin.
1199SEIU
 
Eric Meggett*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Steven Wasserman
Criminal Defense-Special Litigation
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Willliam Brosh, LCSW
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Roslyn Morrison*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Lisa Pitts*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Titus Mathai*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Hilary Dowling
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Bridgett Holloman
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Anna Boksenbaum
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Alternate Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Steven Kliman
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn

ALAA/UAW 2325

Bernadette Jackson
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Joseph Lavine
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Asmika Dangol
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Claudia Diez
Paralegal II
Criminal Appeals
1199SEIU

Jeffrey Sugarman
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Adrian Lesher
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Grover Francis
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Alternate Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Scott Rudnick
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Warren Deans
Criminal Defense-Central Admin.
1199SEIU

Steven Douglas Levine
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Lois Jackson
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Cynthia Pong*
Criminal Defense-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325

Erin M Bannister
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Genesis Fisher*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Tajuana B. Johnson*
Criminal Defense-Manhattan
ALAA/UAW 2325

Bina Ahmad*
Criminal Defense-Staten Island
ALAA/UAW 2325

Naila Siddiqui*
Parole Revocation Defense
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Marie Mombrun*
Civil-Queens
Alt. Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Stephanie J. Fields
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Jacob Rolls
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Rumzi Araj
Criminal Defense-Bronx
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Fazeela Siddiqui*
Civil-Queens
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Zoie T. Mair*
Criminal Defense-Staten Island
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Jeremiah Schlotman*
Civil-Brooklyn Neighborhood Office
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Rodrigo Santelices*
Civil-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Anne Oredeko*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Junior Attorney Rep., ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Samantha Seda*
Criminal Defense-Queens
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Ivan Pantoja*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Middle Attorney Rep., ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Shahar Azoulay*
Parole Revocation Defense
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Andrea Ibrahim*
Criminal Defense-Staten Island
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Femi Disu*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Affirmative Action Rep., ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Robert Newman
Criminal Defense-Special Litigation
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Bobby Codjoe*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Cory Walker
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Daniel Moore
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Jason Wu*
Civil-HCLO
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Mark Weiner
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Laura Rose Bull
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Delegate and Junior Attorney Alt. Rep., ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Alison Schill
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Kayla Simpson
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Bridgette Bissonnette
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
LGBT Caucus Alternate Rep., ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Alma Magaña*
Criminal Defense-Manhattan
Vice President, ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Candace Graff
Paralegal II
Juvenile Rights-Special Litigation
1199SEIU
 
Amy Dallas
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Susan Light
Criminal Defense-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325

Nadine Griffin
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Imtiaz Hossain*
Criminal Defense-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325
Svetlana M. Kornfeind
Criminal Appeals
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Frederic Pratt
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Former Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Hernscica Vincent
Paralegal
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU
 
Joshua Carrin
Criminal Defense-Manhattan
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Madeline Porta
Criminal Defense-Queens
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Lori Masco
Juvenile Rights-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Melissa Leigh Ballowe
Criminal Defense-Manhattan
Alternate Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Alicia Thomas*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Cynthia LaCaprucia Taylor
Civil-Harlem
Alternate Vice President (Civil Div.), ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Juan Charbonier
Criminal Defense-Queens
1199SEIU
 
Hasan Shafiqullah*
Civil-Immigration Law
LGBT Caucus
Former delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Helen Frieder
Civil-Bronx
LGBT Caucus Alternate Rep., ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Nada Geha
Civil-Staten Island
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Richard Blum
Civil-Employment Law
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Young Woo Lee
Civil-Employment Law
Alternate Vice President (Civil Div.), ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Jane Fox
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Todd Smith
Juvenile-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Felicia Leak
Criminal Defense-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Jeremy E.W. Fredericksen
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Bridgett Holloman
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU
 
Mitchell Paolo Esteller*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Jodi Smith*
Criminal Defense-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Vanita Martin
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Monique Fleury-Brown
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU
 
Rachel Messer
Juvenile Rights-Brooklyn
1199SEIU
 
Robert Soriano-Hewitt*
Civil-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Lauren Monosoff
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Margaret Garrett
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Crystal Baker-Burr
Juvenile Rights-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Genitha Wint
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU
 
Deborah Pollack
Criminal Defense-Manhattan
1199SEIU
 
Bharati Narumanchi*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Grace Oboma-Layat*
Juvenile Rights-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Robin Gordon Leavitt
Criminal Defense-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Erin Tomlinson
Criminal Defense-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Alix Willard
Criminal Defense-Bronx
Delegate, 1199SIEU
 
Makeysha Woodman
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU
 
Lejla Bajrami
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU
 
Leah Maloney
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Michelle McGrath
Criminal Defense-Manhattan
ALAA/UAW 2325
 
Yvonne Nix
Criminal Defense-Manhattan
ALAA/UAW 2235
 
Alyssa Cose-Primus
Forensic Social Worker
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Diane Akerman
Queens CDP
ALAA/UAW
 
Anthony Posada*
Queens CDP
ALAA/UAW
 
Valerie LeBrew
Civil-Queens
1199SEIU Delegate
 
Omar Garcia
Civil-Brooklyn
1199SEIU Delegate
 
Jamaal Burnside
Juvenile Rights-Brooklyn
1199SEIU Delegate
 
Aisha King
Criminal Defense-Staten Island
1199SEIU Delegate
 
Javier Chuck
Civil-Harlem
1199SEIU Delegate
 
Magnus Mukoro
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU Delegate
 
D. Shawn Bosler
Juvenile Rights-Bronx
1199SEIU
 
——————————­——————————­——————–
ATTACHMENTS
 
From: Fox, Allan
Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2014 4:16 PM
To: Letwin, Michael
Cc: Wright, Deborah
Subject: The Society’s email policy
 
In 2009 and 2013, The Legal Aid Society entered into agreements with the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys to achieve compliance with the Society’s longstanding e-mail policies and to clarify the parameters of Article 1.5 of the collective bargaining agreement with respect to ALAA‘s use of the Society’s e-mail system.  (See copies of the attached agreements.)  The 2009 agreement provides that on an interim basis, the Society agrees to permit ALAA members to create personal e-mail groups, provided however that before and after setting up a personal e-mail group any and all potential or existing members of the personal e-mail group must be given an opportunity to opt out of the personal mail group.  Yesterday and today, we received several e-mails to ALAA members about a non-work-related matter sent by you involving the current situation in the Middle East, along with complaints from several ALAA members who received such communications who have elected to opt out of receiving them under the 2009 agreement.  As we have previously advised you, it is a violation of the Society’s e-mail policy and the 2009 agreement to send unwanted non-work-related communications to Society employees who have opted out of receiving such communications.  We are directing you to cease such actions and expect you to abide by your obligations under the 2009 agreement with ALAA and the Society’s e-mail policy. (Emphasis added.)
______________________________________________
From: Fox, Allan 
Sent: Friday, July 11, 2014 3:05 PM
To: Herschel, Lucy
Subject: Email Policy & Usage
 
As we reiterated in an e-mail to all staff on June 26, The Legal Aid Society’s e-mail system is to be used for work-related communications. Our e-mail policy is clearly set forth in the Employee Handbook, which has been posted on LASnet for many years. Relevant portions were quoted in an e-mail today to all LAS staff. You recently sent a non-work-related e-mail communication to all ALAA and 1199 staff about recent events in the Middle East, and we have received a number of complaints from staff members who object to the communication. We are directing you to cease sending non-work-related communications that violate the policy and expect you to abide by your obligations under the Society’s e-mail policy. (Emphasis added.)
 
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