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Numbered Days for Mens Central?

Sheri Lee Baca stood in the unseasonably warm April sun outside his Monterey Park headquarters and
said words that seemed unthinkable back when we released our annual Jails Report last September:

I believe Mens Central Jail needs to be decommissioned, Baca said. Im committing to that goal.

Baca failed to commit to a timetable, but he did say hell close the dangerous, crumbling facility even if
a replacement jail is not built. e announcement came at a joint news conference between the ACLU
and the Los Angeles Sheris Department that coincided with the release of a report commissioned by the
ACLU. e report, titled Evaluation of the Current and Future Los Angeles County Jail Population,
was authored by noted criminal justice expert James Austin, and it outlines how Mens Central could be
safely and eectively shuttered. If Baca follows through, his actions could mark the beginning of a major
nationwide shift in how we as a society deal with those convicted of crimes and those awaiting trial.

e grossly overcrowded L.A. County jail system is the worlds largest, with a population of some 22,000
inmates. An additional 7,000 inmates will soon be funneled into the system as a result of AB 109,
passed by the California Legislature after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the state to reduce its prison
population. e cramped conditions in L.A. County jails have had violent consequences: last fall, our
Jails Report for the rst time contained testimony of civilian witnesses who saw rsthand savage beatings
of inmates by deputies. It also included declarations of about 70 current or former inmates who had
fallen victim to deputies batons.

For years, the sheri has insisted that the only way to x the problem is to fund nearly $1.5 billion in new
jail construction. But the Austin Report arrives at a very simple conclusion -- that xing the jails doesnt
require building new ones; rather, ocials should reduce the jail population. Because three in four
inmates are in jail awaiting trial, Austin recommends pre-trial release for low-level inmates not yet found
guilty of a crime, and allowing low-risk, non-violent felons to participate in rehabilitation programs in
the community rather than incarcerating them.

If Baca is true to his word, he could lead the way in breaking the nations addiction to mass incarceration.
DECEMBER 2010 - MAY 2011 Vol. 87 No. 1
L I B E R T Y | J U S T I C E | E Q U A L I T Y
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V I S I T WWW. AC L U - S C . O R G T O R E A D MO R E
1 Numbered Days for
Mens Central Jail?
2 In the Capitol
2 Belinda Escobosa Helzer Named
Daily Journal Top Attorney
3 Unidos Against 1070
4 Citizenship Delayed
6 Chapter Roundup
7 2011 Bill of Rights Dinner
7 Towards a SAFE California
8 Get Involved! List of Local
Activist Networks
WH AT S I N S I D E
AMERI CAN CI VI L LI BERTI ES UNI ON OF SOUTHERN CALI FORNI A
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NOVEMBER 2011 - MAY 2012 VOL. 87 NO.2
ACLU/SC Legal Director Peter Eliasberg speaks to reporters as Sheriff Lee Baca looks on.
O P E N F O R U M - AC L U O F S O U T HE R N C A L I F O R NI A 2
A Step Closer to Justice for Our Vets
Sometimes, Leslie Richardson still dreams about the burning bodies.
Growing up in South L.A., Richardson just wanted to get out. He got his chance when he joined the military in 1973. He eventually became a military policeman, working in
Germany as an undercover drug agent. One day we came across people involved in the heroin trade burning inside a VW bus, he said. My
instinct was to help them and save them, but it was too late and we could not save anyone. I watched as they burned alive. e burned bodies
were gruesome; the smell, the whole scene was gruesome.
It was the start of a long downward spiral of drugs and alcohol. By 2007, he was living in his car or moving between short-term treatment
facilities. e Veterans Administration told him that it had no treatment facility on its 387-acre West Los Angeles campus that could give him
what he needed -- stable, long-term housing. at was in spite of wording in the 1888 deed that granted the property to the government that
it would be used only to provide long-term housing and services to vets. Instead, much of the property is leased to various clients, including a
rental-car agency and a hotel laundry facility.
In March, a federal judge ruled that the case we brought against the Department of Veterans Aairs last year on behalf of Richardson and ten
other local veterans can move forward, denying most of the governments motion to dismiss. e court found that Congress has made crystal
clear that [its] intention was to ensure that the [West Los Angeles VA Campus] was used primarily to benet veterans.
is ruling is extremely important for our clients because they so urgently need treatment, said ACLU/SC Sta Attorney David Sapp. We
have asked for an expedited trial schedule so we can get our clients the stable housing that will help them recover.
Without that long-term housing, Richardson has little hope for his future. I cannot be here permanently, he said. It is too stressful to recover
in short-term placement after short-term placement. I have no idea where I will go next.
Weve returned from Sacramento and our rst ever ACLU of California
Conference and Lobby Day, and the 2011-2012 California legislative session is
heating up. During the second part of this two-year session, we are continuing our
advocacy and lobbying for a broad civil rights legislative agenda, including priority
bills to reform our broken criminal justice sentencing system, expand access to
reproductive health care services, and prohibit public schools from charging
students illegal fees. Heres a glimpse of what were working on this spring.
SB 1506 (Leno)
is bill would convert simple possession of drugs from a felony to a misdemeanor
and reduce the collateral consequences of a felony conviction, including barriers to
housing, employment and social services. e Legislative Analysts Oce estimates
state and local savings of close to $1 billion over ve years. Status: Headed to the
Senate Floor.
SB 1338 (Kehoe)
is bill would ensure women receive comprehensive reproductive health care
from local providers they know and trust by authorizing nurse practitioners,
certied nurse midwives and physician assistants to provide safe, early abortion
care by aspiration, under the terms of their licenses. Status: While SB 1338 had
strong support in the Legislature, it failed to pass the Senate Business, Professions
and Economic Development Committee. We will continue to review our options
for ensuring that all women have access to care by providers they know and trust in
the communities where they live.
AB 1081 (Ammiano)
is bill would require jails, consistent with federal immigration policy, to honor
ICE detainers only if the individuals were previously convicted of serious or violent
felonies. Status: Headed to the Senate Floor.
AB 1729 (Ammiano)
is bill would require schools to implement alternative discipline before
suspension, except in cases related to alcohol or a threat of physical violence to
another person. e bill would require that schools document their attempts at
correction before suspension. Status: At press time, headed toward a vote by the
Assembly Appropriations Committee.
AB 1575 (Lara)
is bill would provide all school districts a common means for ensuring that
students are receiving a free public education, as well as a process for parents and
students to have their concerns about fees heard. Status: Headed to Assembly Floor.
is fall, our Community Engagement and Policy Advocacy team will be hitting
the streets to pass the SAFE California Act, the initiative that has recently qualied
for the November 2012 ballot that would replace Californias death penalty. We
need your help! To nd out more about how you can get involved with our
legislative or initiative campaign work, please call Clarissa Woo at (213) 977-5241.
For more ways to get involved with our most urgent advocacy campaigns, visit
our website at www.aclu-sc.org.
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Spring into Action with ACLU Activism!
Attorney of the Year Award
For Belinda Escobosa Helzer, director of our Orange County
Oce, the ght for social justice started early.

e Orange County native grew up in a Latino neighborhood,
where she saw
people victimized by
circumstances beyond
their control, like their
skin color, where they
lived, or their parents
immigration status.
Police often detained
and searched individuals
simply because they were
Latino, she said. High
school graduates, raised
in this country, had their
dreams of attending
college shattered when
they discovered that
their undocumented
status excluded them
from scholarships and
nancial aid; and police labeled youth as gang members and
harassed them largely because of where they lived.

While she felt powerless to help at the time, what she saw
eventually led her to become a civil rights attorney -- and in April,
to being named one of the Daily Journals Top Women Lawyers
of 2012, recognizing Southern California female attorneys who
have made a mark in the legal eld. I have worked with amazing
co-counsel, she said of the award, especially my colleagues
here at the ACLU, dedicated organizers, and most importantly
courageous clients. Without our clients willingness to speak up
about the injustices that they have suered, we would have no
chance to eect change.

Belinda has been with the ACLU/SC since 2005, fullling a
dream shed had since she became a member in her early 20s. Last
year, she scored a major victory against Orange County District
Attorney Tony Rackauckas and the Orange Police Department
in Vasquez v. Rackauckas, which armed the right of Orange
County residents to a court hearing before being included in a
gang injunction which severely limits their lawful, day-to-day
activities.

Still, she recognizes that much of our work takes place outside
the courtroom. I try to approach a problem with an open mind
about the solution, she said. Not every civil rights problem
is solved through litigation. Even if litigation is part of the
solution, it may not be the only part there may be a community
education component -- do people need to know their rights? Or
a policy x -- could a piece of legislation x the problem? Since
being at the ACLU, I have had the opportunity to work on many
of the issues that led me to be a lawyer in the rst place. I feel
really lucky.
Estamos Unidos!
Estamos Unidos? is the question. And Estamos Unidos! is the answer, called out ACLU/
SC Executive Director Hector Villagra to a crowd of students when the cross-country
caravan Estamos Unidos stopped at East Los Angeles College (ELAC) on April 23.
Estamos Unidos means we are united, and is a coast-to-coast caravan organized by
the ACLU and allied groups. It kicked o in San Francisco April 22 and is designed
to encourage the communities it visits to work together to stop discriminatory laws
like Arizonas SB 1070.
e ACLU/SC hosted the ELAC stop, where local band Las Cafeteras sang songs
calling for unity, justice and dignity, rallying the students against anti-immigrant
legislation. Students signed petitions and armed themselves with Know Your
Rights materials.
e Estamos Unidos caravan returned to Southern California in mid-May where it
continued to collect and share stories of people harmed by discriminatory policies,
distributed information about the constitutional rights that belong to all of us,
and invited community members to participate in an online campaign at www.
miACLU.org, by texting UNIDOS to 74700 or by following miACLU on
Facebook. Were also asking people to sign a petition to President Obama, urging
him to continue his opposition to SB 1070 copycat laws and to reform federal
programs that have resulted in record detentions and deportations during his rst
term in oce -- more than one-million people.
O P E N F O R U M - AC L U O F S O U T HE R N C A L I F O R NI A 3
O P E N F O R U M - AC L U O F S O U T HE R N C A L I F O R NI A 4
CITIZENSHIP DELAYED
On May 10, Tarek Hamdi nally stood before the ag and a judge and swore his
oath of allegiance to the United States. Its something thousands of immigrants
do every month, but it took Hamdi eleven frustrating years to arrive at his own
ceremony. ats because federal immigration ocials didnt play by the rules.
Following a two-day trial in February, a U.S. district court judge ruled that
Hamdi could nally naturalize as an American citizen. Originally from Egypt,
Hamdi immigrated to the United States more than three decades ago. He
married an American citizen, went to work as an engineer for CalTrans, and
raised four children. But while he met all the prerequisites to become a citizen,
the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) stalled his application
losing it, delaying it, and nally denying it, in eect because he is a Muslim.
In 2000, Hamdi made a lawful donation to an Islamic charity called the
Benevolence International Foundation, which was shut down by the Treasury
Department in 2002 as an alleged nancer of terrorism. A 2009 ACLU report
found that such actions not only chill Muslim Americans ability to exercise
zakat, the charitable giving that is one of the central tenets of Islam, but make
them fearful that they will be subpoenaed, deported, or, as in Hamdis case,
denied citizenship. In the Los Angeles Field Oce, Muslim applicants appearing
for their naturalization examinations are often asked detailed questions about
their religion, including how often they pray and what mosque they attend
none of which is relevant to their eligibility for citizenship. Like Hamdi, they
are targeted for having made legal donations to Islamic charities and forced
to respond to extensive requests for evidence reaching so far back that it is
impossible to fully comply.
I always played by the rules. I paid taxes, contributed to society and raised a
beautiful family. I have been treated dierently because I am a Muslim man, Hamdi said.
Congress has prohibited discriminating against would-be citizens on the
basis of race or religion since 1952. e
Immigration and Nationality Act, passed
that year, states that [t]he right of a
person to become a naturalized citizen of
the United States shall not be denied or
abridged because of race. But when we
led a Freedom of Information Act request
along with Hamdis case, we discovered
previously-secret USCIS policies that
dictated that his application could not be
approved even though he was statutorily
eligible to naturalize. Ocials labeled his
religious practice specically the practice
of zakat as a national security concern.
ese policies apply to any applicant for
an immigration benet, such as naturalization, green cards, and visas. ey
explain the discriminatory treatment and inordinate delays that Hamdi,
like so many other Muslim immigrants, faced in obtaining immigration
benets.
On May 2, the government nally dropped its appeal of the judges February
order allowing Hamdi to naturalize.
No person of faith, no honest man should have to face the discrimination
I have, said Hamdi, especially when all you want to do is take an oath of
allegiance to the United States.
Hamdi, a new American citizen, is now a proud member of the American Civil
Liberties Union.
Tarek Hamdi takes the oath of citizenship.
O P E N F O R U M - AC L U O F S O U T HE R N C A L I F O R NI A 5
1 8
T H
A NNUA L L AW L UNC HE O N
ACLU FOUNDATION OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
FRIDAY, JUNE 8, 2012
11:15 am 1:30 pm
Marriott Hotel
333 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Valet parking $12
Please RSVP to Vicki Fox at (213)977-5227 or vfox@aclu-sc.org
ACCESS TO JUSTICE AWARD
Sidley Austin LLP
Sean Commons Cody Jacobs Eva Fitzhugh Steve Hlynski
CRIMINAL JUSTICE AWARD
Loyola Law Schools Project for the Innocent
HUMANITARIAN AWARD
Arnold & Porter LLP
James Finsten Jacob Poorman John Ulin Eric Shapland
Gary Blasi, Esq.
Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law
LGBT MEDIA ADVOCACY AWARD
Rise Against
Brandon Barnes Zach Blair Tim McIlrath Joe Principe
RELIGIOUS LIBERTY AWARD
Hadsell Stormer Keeny Richardson & Renick
Josh Piovia-Scott Reem Salahi Dan Stormer
ARTISTIC FREEDOM AWARD
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Robert Corn-Revere Anna Buono Rory Eastburg Carla Veltman
FIRST AMENDMENT AWARD
Akin Gump LLP
Sarah Gettings Felix Lebron L. Rachel Lerman
IMMIGRANT RIGHTS ADVOCACY AWARD
Latham & Watkins LLP
Corrina Freedman Amanda Klopf Aaron Murphy Aviva Robin
Daniel Schecter David Yaroslavsky
Stone & Grzegorek LLP
Candice Garrett Madhu Sharma
PRISONER RIGHTS ADVOCACY AWARD
Chaplain Paulino Juarez
Paul Hastings LLP
Felicia Davis John Durrant Melinda Gordon Jade Leung
Donna Melby Beth Mueller
2012 HONOREES
KEYNOTE SPEAKER
Laurie L. Levenson
Professor of Law, Loyola Law School, David W. Burcham Chair of Ethical Advocacy
Pursuing Justice: Innocence, the Death Penalty, and Californias efforts to become SAFE
Video Presentations by
Aasif Mandvi and Rise Against
O P E N F O R U M - AC L U O F S O U T HE R N C A L I F O R NI A 6
CHAPTER ROUNDUP
L E G A C Y
C H A L L E N G E
A ME R I C A N C I V I L L I B E R T I E S UNI O N
With a Single Sentence,
You Can Defend Freedom
Now and Forever.
Right now, by adding the ACLU to your will,
you can leave a legacy of liberty for genera-
tions to come and defend our freedom today.
Name the ACLU in your estate plans and
the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust will
make a cash matching contribution of up to
$10,000 to the ACLU today, while matching
funds are available.
For simple bequest language to include in
your will and for information on other gifts
that qualify for the Legacy Challenge, visit
www.aclu.org/legacy or call toll-free
877-867-1025.
FOR TWO WONDERFUL ACLU EVENTS
THE 49th ANNUAL GARDEN PARTY
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 9
IN BRENTWOOD
THE ANNUAL BILL OF RIGHTS DINNER
MONDAY, DECEMBER 3
BEVERLY WILSHIRE HOTEL
INFORMATION ABOUT THE EVENTS
WILL BE POSTED ON OUR WEBSITE,
AS THE EVENT DATES GET NEARER.
WWW.ACLU-SC.ORG
IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS,
CALL THE MEMBERSHIP AND EVENTS HOTLINE:
213-977-5248
SAVE THE DATE
PASADENA/FOOTHILLS
According to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF), 13 percent of African-
American men nationwide have lost the right to vote due to incarceration. To
address those sobering statistics locally, Pasadena/Foothills chapter members
headed to Pasadenas Jackie Robinson Park in February to register new voters
at the Annual Black History Month Parade and Festival.
Chapter volunteers notied attendees that former inmates on probation and
o parole have the right to vote in California. Communities of color, such as
Northwest Pasadena, are underrepresented in local, state and federal elections
in part because most people, including former inmates, do not know they
may be eligible to vote. e LDF says that if current incarceration rates
continue, three in ten African-American men of the next generation will lose
the right to vote at some point in their lifetimes.
ACLU/SC Pasadena/Foothills will be working with the League of Women
Voters and others to train and schedule voter registration teams in Northwest
Pasadena. If you are interested in volunteering to help register voters, please
contact us at aclupasadena@yahoo.com or 626.389.4107.
DESERT CHAPTER
High School seniors Yazmin Franco and Anahi Martinez won this years essay
contest scholarship award.
High school seniors in the Coachella Valley were encouraged to compete for
two $500.00 scholarship awards oered by the ACLU-SC Desert chapter
as part of an essay contest exploring the meaning of civil liberties. In their
essay, students were asked to address the topic: What civil liberties mean
to me. Students were asked to elaborate on the signicance of our legal
rights and responsibilities as citizens and on issues including the Employee
Free Choice Act, recent immigration legislation in Arizona (SB 1070) and
Alabama, Californias Proposition 8 or privacy issues in the age of terrorism.
SANTA BARBARA
e ACLU/SC Santa Barbara Chapter has revived its jail ombudsperson
program after a four-year hiatus. Laura Ronchietto has served since last year
as the chapters rst volunteer ombudsperson since 2007.
e Santa Barbara Chapter provided an ombudsperson to serve in the jail
from 1970 through 1982, and then from 2004 thru 2007. After extended
negotiations between the Sheris Department and the chapter, the sheri
agreed to reactivate the program.
As in county jails across the state, a large number of inmates in Santa Barbara
are awaiting trial but cant aord to make bail. ese inmates, as well as those
who have been sentenced to serve time in jail, often have complaints about
personal issues or medical care that go unaddressed by jail sta. Its important
that inmates know that people on the outside care about them and want to
help resolve those issues.
e primary purpose of the ombudsperson is to resolve inmate complaints
about the conditions, restrictions or nature of their connement -- and also to
assist inmates with non-litigation based communication with public defenders
or other defense counsel, probation or parole ocers, and appropriate public
agencies.
O P E N F O R U M - AC L U O F S O U T HE R N C A L I F O R NI A 7
TOWARDS A SAFE CALIFORNIA ere are many reasons why the ACLU of Southern California supports SAFE
California, the initiative campaign to replace Californias broken death penalty with life without possibility of parole. But of all the reasons why the death penalty
is a failed policy, the most convincing is Francisco Carrillo.
Franky is one of hundreds of people wrongfully convicted of a crime he did not commit. His ordeal began in Los Angeles more than 20 years ago, when his picture
was included in a photo lineup in a murder investigation. When a police ocer told one witness to identify Franky, that witness inuenced others, and at trial
Franky was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. He was 16 at the time had he been an adult, he could have been sentenced to death.
For 20 years, Franky lived in a maximum security prison with little hope of ever being free. But he held on to that dream, and eventually Ellen Eggers, an attorney
with the Oce of the State Public Defender; the law rm of Morrison and Foerster; and the Northern California Innocence Project stepped in to represent him.
With their help, Franky was able to establish his innocence and win release. All six witnesses admitted their mistake, and two others have confessed to the shooting
and said Franky was not involved.
Franky was released from prison in 2011, 20 years after he was convicted for a crime he did not commit. Sadly, the most unusual aspect of Frankys case is not
his wrongful conviction, but his exoneration. Proving your innocence is a nearly impossible task and yet in the last 20 years, 79 people in California have been
exonerated after being wrongfully convicted.
ose are 79 reasons, each as compelling as Franky, why California should replace the death penalty -- 79 reasons that prove California can never have a perfect,
error-free death penalty. As long as we have a death penalty, we run the risk of murdering innocent people like Franky Carrillo. e ACLU of Southern California
is proud to stand behind inspiring individuals like Franky who are working to pass the SAFE California Act this November. SAFE California will replace the death
penalty in California with a sentence of life in prison with no possibility of parole eliminating the risk of executing an innocent person. Visit www.safecalifornia.
org for more information.
Actor and activist Olivia Wilde, music impresario Troy Carter, Hollywood
mogul Tom Ortenberg and nationally recognized Harvard Law professor
Laurence Tribe were the honorees at our annual Bill of Rights Dinner,
December 12, 2011.
Comedian Michael Colyer emceed the event, which included a
performance by 13-year-old singing sensation Greyson Chance, who was
discovered on YouTube for his rendition of Lady Gagas song Paparazzi.

Tribe received the Ramona Ripston Liberty, Justice and Equality Award
for his decades of legal scholarship and dedication to civil rights. Wilde,
Carter and Ortenberg were each recipients of our Bill of Rights Award for
being prominent advocates of social justice causes.
e annual Bill of Rights Dinner recognizes exceptional people who have
worked to promote civil liberties and civil rights. Past honorees have
included Barbara Streisand, Dustin Homan, Martin Scorsese, Amy
Doyle and Hans Zimmer.
See more images from the event at our website at http://www.aclu-sc.org/
contents/view/84.
BILL OF RIGHTS DINNER 2011
Greyson Chance (L) and Troy Carter (R)
Greyson Chance performs Honoree Laurence Tribe (L) and ACLU/SC Executive Director Emerita Ramona Ripston (R) ACLU/SC Executive Director Hector Villagra
Honoree Tom Ortenberg
C
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OPEN
FORUM
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CHAPTER LISTINGS
DESERT CHAPTER
Contact Brad Oliver at Bkoliver50@gmail.com.
ORANGE COUNTY CHAPTER
For meeting times and location, contact quetzalcoatl38@aol.com
or call 714-956-5037.
PASADENA/FOOTHILLS CHAPTER
Contact aclupasadena@yahoo.com or call 626-389-4107
Meetings are 7pm the second Tuesday of every other month at
Neighborhood Church, 301 N. Orange Grove Blvd, Pasadena.

SAN FERNANDO VALLEY CHAPTER
Contact SFVChaptACLU@aol.com; call Ken Ronney at 818-996-1630,
or Norm Beal at 818-344-9241. Meetings are 7pm the second Monday of
each month in Reseda.
SANTA BARBARA COUNTY CHAPTER
Contact 805-996-1216 or mail P.O. Box 30645, Santa Barbara, 93130.
Meetings are 6:30pm the third Thursday of the month at the
Franklin Center, 1136 E. Montecito St., Santa Barbara.
VENTURA COUNTY CHAPTER
Contact aclu.vc@verizon.net or 805-389-0856.
WESTSIDE CHAPTER
Contact aclulawestside1@yahoo.com or 310-286-1011.
CAMPUS CLUBS
The main goal of an ACLU campus club is to increase interest and awareness
among students on campus by sponsoring speakers, forums, teach-ins and flm
showings on timely civil liberties topics and important historical milestones. Clubs
may also monitor civil liberties on campus and, if necessary, take action around
school policies relating to civil liberties.
Contact Miguel Cruz directly at 213-977-5255 or by e-mail at mcruz@aclu-sc.org
to get in contact with an offcial ACLU campus club from the list below.

CHAPMAN UNIVERSITY CLUB
UCLA LAW CLUB
USC LAW CLUB
CLAREMONT COLLEGES CLUB
LOYOLA LAW CLUB
WHITTIER LAW CLUB
BELL GARDENS HIGH SCHOOL CLUB
O P E N F O R U M - AC L U O F S O U T HE R N C A L I F O R NI A
HECTOR O. VILLAGRA
Executive Director
STEPHEN ROHDE
ACLU Foundation Chair
SHELAN JOSEPH
ACLU President
JASON HOWE
Communications Director
MEMBERSHIP
INFORMATION
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OR VISIT
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OPEN FORUM (ISSN 0030-3429) is published
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Foundation, at 1313 W. 8th St., Los Angeles
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Send address changes to Open Forum,
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The ACLU/SC has grown from a small band of civil libertarians in Los Angeles committed to constitutional
rights to a membership of nearly 35.000 with seven charter chapters throughout Southern California. The
ACLU/SC encompasses San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, Kern, Riverside, and
San Bernardino Counties. It has become a leader in the national ACLU organization in the areas of policy
formulation, community activity and membership development.
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Within their own geographic areas, chapters take on a number of activities to promote and defend civil liberties.
Common chapter programs include:
Communicating with local public offcials about civil liberties concerns.
Sponsoring educational forums for chapter members and the general public.
Lobbying elected state and national representatives on ACLU priority legislation.
Chapters provide ACLU members with a closer link to the organization and give the ACLU/SC an important
local presence through their newsletters and public gatherings.
A council provides support and stimulates the work of the ACLU/SC chapters and is composed of one delegate
from each chapter. Support grants to chapters for program development, provided in the ACLU/SC budget, are
administered by the council.

For more information or to get involved with our chapter network at any capacity, contact Manager of Activist
Networks Miguel Cruz directly at 213-977-5255 or by e-mail at mcruz@aclu-sc.org.