The past few months have been unlike any other in the national ACLU’s nearly 100 year history. In these unusual times, I enter my second year as the board president of the ACLU of Utah with an even greater sense of purpose and pride. Our constitutional rights and freedoms are being challenged by a new President and his appointees, but the ACLU is mounting a strong defense nationwide and here in Utah.
Before the 2016 elections, the ACLU of Utah pondered how to increase public awareness of the mission of the ACLU and our role in strengthening civil rights and liberties. So much has changed since November! Where we used to contemplate how to inform more Utahns about our important work and its impact on their lives, we now discuss how to best inform our rapidly expanding base of members and supporters about our victories, our current campaigns, and when we need them to take action on an urgent policy matter. It feels like the ACLU has gone from unfamiliar to indispensable in the blink of an eye
Even with unprecedented numbers of supporters at our side, the challenges ahead are formidable. Too many Utahns endure discrimination, hate crimes, a biased and inadequate criminal justice system, and systematic racism. The President and Congress seek to erode our privacy rights, further militarize our borders, dismantle transparency and accountability measures, and strip federal protections for the most vulnerable.
It’s encouraging that more and more Utahns are joining and committing to our fight, because it truly is our fight. The ACLU of Utah needs you, and we all need the ACLU of Utah. Your support allows us to remain vigilant, and to take action when our rights are threatened or violated.
To those of you who are new to the fight to protect and defend civil liberties in Utah, welcome. To all of you, thank you. I am confident that together we can continue creating a more just and equal Utah.
Michael Weinholtz, Board President