2016 March – ACLU

Carl Crider of ACLU San Diego & Imperial

Carl Crider of ACLU San Diego & Imperial

Topic of the Talk: American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) by Carl Crider

About ACLU:

ACLU, nonpartisan organization was founded in 1920 to protect our civil rights. Helen Keller was one of the founders.

No government support, a half million members, staffed offices in all 50 states, work in courts.

Supports our right to protest, reproduction right, immigrants’ rights, voting rights, women’s rights and more.

George H. W. Bush has been the biggest recruiter for ACLU. (*During 1988 presidential campaign he made ACLU an issue as a far left organization. The attack recruited new ACLU members.)

Financed by grants, contributions including the membership, donated legal service and bequests. (Refer to page 14 at ACLU Annual Report 2015)

Some Notable Cases:

The ACLU was the only major organization to protest Roosevelt’s internment of Japanese Americans in 1942.

In 1967 the ACLU represented an interracial couple in a landmark Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia case and won.

The Patriot Act was passed shortly after 9/11. It’s to intercept terrorists. (It made easy for FBI to collect our private data. Less than 1% of cases were terror-related, drug-related were 76%.) ACLU knew their phones were tapped and challenged National Security Agency’s phone surveillance for violating our right of privacy. Edward Snowden proved ACLU had been indeed phone tapped.

In 2013 ACLU challenged the fact one medical company with a gene patent has the exclusive right on human genes. The Supreme Court ruled for ACLU and no businesses are allowed a gene patent.

President Obama’s Immigration Accountability Executive Action in 2014 was to provide millions of immigrants with temporary relief from deportation. (Some states challenged the action and the Supreme Court will hear the case in April 2016 and a decision is to be announced in June 2016.)

ACLU San Diego & Imperial Counties (website: aclusandiego.org) :

11 out of 40 staffers are attorneys. Constitution Day has been celebrated in 500 classes in the counties and also has 200 speeches about the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

In 2009 an eleven year old female student in Ramona produced a video program featuring Harvey Milk for a class assignment. The principal forbade her to show her program at the school. Her furious mother contacted ACLU local office for help. Then the school district required all the parents to sign for a private presentation during a lunch break. She ended up presenting her program in the classroom, but on the last day of school.

In 2009 three high school students on their way to school were detained at a trolley station. They didn’t have a proper residency document with them and were deported to Mexico. ACLU requested Homeland Security to readmit the youths to the states.

A number of immigrants were deported illegally; ICE has been pressuring them to sign a “voluntary return.” In 2013 the ACLU filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of some Southern California immigrants’ rights. (The government agreed to reforms of the “voluntary return” – the detainees will be provided detailed information, access to a phone, legal service, and more.)

In Oct 2015 Oceanside Unified School District decided to close down Jefferson Middle School and approved a charter school on the site. (Jefferson is predominantly Latinos. Some current students will not be qualified for the admission to the charter school due to the academic and audition requirements; Public schools should provide equal opportunity for all students.)  ACLU urged the district reconsider the decision. (Jefferson Middle School is listed at the school district as of April 2016.)

The ACLU offers a mobile app to film and download any scene we might believe someone’s civil right might have been violated. The app site: MobileJusticeCA.org

About Carl Crider:

A registered Democrat  since he became old enough to vote. He was raised in Arkansas. His father, a city councilman in Arkansas City, proposed to send black students in their community instead of busing them to a black school outside of the county. The proposal wasn’t approved.

A member of the Lake San Marcos Democratic Club, has owned a small business since 1989, and has lived with the economic challenges of managing such a business.

He is committed to equal rights for all, protecting the due process of all Americans and all who visit our country, protecting affordable health care, equal pay for equal work, a woman’s right to control her own health care choices, creating a viable guest worker program, and support immigrant rights.

He has been active with the ACLU, the International Rescue Committee in San Diego, Mama’s Kitchen, and Women’s Empowerment International. Prior to starting my company, he was the Executive Director of Social Advocates for Youth in San Diego, working in areas of juvenile justice and delinquency prevention. During that time he served on the board of the California Child Youth and Family Coalition, lobbying for progressive legislation in juvenile justice.