So long as we have enough people in this country willing to fight for their rights, we'll be called a democracy.
-- ACLU Founder Roger Baldwin
I agree with Mr. Baldwin in theory, but in practice, people need to be able, as well as willing, to fight for their rights. Education is needed in order to have a democracy.
Sadly, San Diego ACLU attorney David Loy seems to be working on two fronts to stop the efforts of San Diegans working to improve the functioning of local schools. Worse still, the local ACLU is supporting him.
San Diego ACLU attorney David Loy
First, David Loy has gone out of his way to support a school attorney law firm (Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Hotlz) which has steadfastly worked to silence education bloggers.
Why? And why would the San Diego ACLU support Mr. Loy in this? In an email, Loy pretended he didn't know that that Judge Judith Hayes' injunction against this blog was unconstitutional. Loy demanded that I take all mention of Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz law firm off my websites. I knew the injunction was unconstitutional, and I'm just an elementary school teacher without any legal training.
So why didn't Loy know this? Answer: of course he knew the injunction was unconstitutional. He just didn't care. He apparently wanted to score some points with school attorney Dan Shinoff. Certainly, Shinoff would have owed Loy an enormous debt if Loy had succeeded in silencing me.
Judge Judith Hayes
Judge Judith Hayes wrote a brazenly unconstitutional injunction in an effort to silence this blogger. When I objected, she told me that I didn't understand constitutional law. The Court of Appeal agreed with me. It's hard to understand why a judge would engage in this type of behavior. She must have had her reasons.
Happily, the injunction was thrown out by the Court of Appeal, and Mr. Loy's efforts to intimidate me into taking down my website failed completely.
But why is the San Diego ACLU working behind closed doors in direct opposition to its stated goals?
My theory is that David Loy tries to get publicity by complaining to the media about, ironically enough, freedom of speech for students in San Diego County, and then getting school attorneys like Dan Shinoff to settle out of court. The problem arises when Mr. Shinoff wants consideration for his cooperation.
The second prong of the San Diego ACLU's efforts to undermine education reform is its startling inaction in cases like the ACLU suit regarding teacher quality in lower socioeconomic schools.
Why were San Diego school districts left out? I suspect that the answer is exactly the same as the answer to why the San Diego ACLU would support silencing education bloggers.
--San Diego blogger Maura Larkins
(See biographies of national ACLU leaders below.)
Steven R. Shapiro, Legal Director of the ACLU
Steven R. Shapiro is the Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, the nation's oldest and largest civil liberties organization. He directs a staff of approximately 90 full-time lawyers who maintain a large and active docket of civil liberties cases around the country. Those cases cover a broad range of issues, including: free speech, racial justice, religious freedom, due process, privacy, reproductive and women's rights, immigrant's rights, gay rights, voting rights, prisoner's rights, and the death penalty.
Shapiro has been the ACLU's Legal Director since 1993, and served as Associate Legal Director from 1987–1993. During that time, he has appeared as counsel or co-counsel on more than 200 ACLU briefs submitted to the United States Supreme Court.
Shapiro is also an adjunct professor of constitutional law at Columbia Law School, and a frequent speaker and writer on civil liberties issues.
After graduating from Harvard Law School and spending one year as law clerk to Judge J. Edward Lumbard of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Shapiro joined the New York Civil Liberties Union in 1976. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Human Rights First for twenty years and is now a member of the Policy Committee of Human Rights Watch, as well as the Advisory Committees of the U.S. Program and Asia Program of Human Rights Watch.
Terence Dougherty, ACLU General Counsel
Terence Dougherty joined the ACLU in 2005 and since then has developed an in house legal team that advises the organization on all internal legal matters, including nonprofit governance, charity law, lobbying and political campaign activities, ethics rules and FEC, intellectual property, contract, endowment fund and litigation matters. In addition to serving as the in-house General Counsel, he is the organization's Assistant Corporate Secretary. Prior to joining the ACLU, Terence practiced law at Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler, where he represented numerous nonprofit organizations, including educational institutions, advocacy organizations, private foundations, museums and donor advised funds. Prior to that, he practiced tax law at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson.
Dougherty has over a decade of experience working with nonprofit organizations on a wide range of legal issues, and he regularly lectures and gives CLE trainings. Dougherty co-authored an article in 2010, "Newspapers as Tax-Exempt Entities: The Newspaper Revitalization Act of 2009," that addresses proposed legislation that would grant tax-exempt status to certain newspaper entities. He assisted in the preparation of a section of the 2005 Independent Sector, Panel on the Nonprofit Sector's Final Report to Congress and the Nonprofit Sector, "Strengthening Transparency, Governance and Accountability of Charitable Organizations." He is the author of a series of policy studies published by the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force in 2004 and 2005 on the economic detriment to same-sex couples resulting from their inability to enter into marriages recognized under federal and state law. He is a contributor to and the coeditor with Martha Fineman of Feminism Confronts Homo Economics, a collection of essays published by Cornell University Press in 2005 that addresses the negative impact of neoclassical economic theory on the study and practice of law.
Dougherty is a graduate of Oberlin College and Columbia Law School, where he was a James Kent Scholar and a recipient of a Human Rights Internship Fellowship. During law school, he interned with Hon. Jack B. Weinstein of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, and with Hon. Cheryl Valandra of the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Court in South Dakota.
In 2008, Dougherty was appointed as a Commissioner of the Women's Refugee Commission. Since 2005, he has served as a member of the board of directors of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and has sat on the Government Relations Committee of the Non-Profit Coordinating Committee. He is a former member of the boards of the Columbia University School of Law Alumni Association and the Ohio Public Interest Research Group.
Dougherty is a native New Yorker. Prior to attending law school, he worked as writer assistant to feminist cultural critic Bell Hooks and as a kindergarten teacher at a homeless shelter in the South Bronx.
Susan N. Herman, President of the ACLU
Susan N. Herman was elected President of the American Civil Liberties Union in October 2008, after having served on the ACLU National Board of Directors for twenty years, as a member of the Executive Committee for sixteen years, and as General Counsel for ten years.
Herman holds a chair as Centennial Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School, where she currently teaches courses in Constitutional Law and Criminal Procedure, and seminars on Law and Literature, and Terrorism and Civil Liberties. She writes extensively on constitutional and criminal procedure topics for scholarly and other publications, ranging from law reviews and books to periodicals and on-line publications. Recent publications include two books, TERRORISM, GOVERNMENT, AND LAW: NATIONAL AUTHORITY AND LOCAL AUTONOMY IN THE WAR ON TERROR, editor and co-author, with Paul Finkelman (Praeger Security International 2008) and THE RIGHT TO A SPEEDY AND PUBLIC TRIAL (Praeger 2006) (part of a series on the Constitution), and law review articles including The USA PATRIOT Act and the Submajoritarian Fourth Amendment, 41 HARV. CIV. RTS.-CIV. LIB. L. REV. 67 (2006).
Herman has discussed constitutional law issues on radio, including a variety of NPR shows; on television, including programs on PBS, CSPAN, NBC, MSNBC and a series of appearances on the Today in New York show; and in print media including Newsday and the New York Times. In addition, she has been a frequent speaker at academic conferences and continuing legal education events organized by groups such as the Federal Judicial Center, and the American Bar Association, lecturing and conducting workshops for various groups of judges and lawyers, and at non-legal events, including speeches at the U.S. Army War College and many other schools. She has also participated in Supreme Court litigation, writing and collaborating on amicus curiae briefs for the ACLU on a range of constitutional criminal procedure issues, and conducting Supreme Court moot courts, and in some federal lobbying efforts.
Herman received a B.A. from Barnard College as a philosophy major, and a J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was a Note and Comment Editor on the N.Y.U. Law Review. Before entering teaching, Professor Herman was Pro Se Law Clerk for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and Staff Attorney and then Associate Director of Prisoners' Legal Services of New York.
Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director ACLU
Anthony D. Romero is the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, the nation's premier defender of liberty and individual freedom. He took the helm of the organization just seven days before the September 11, 2001 attacks. Shortly afterward, the ACLU launched its national Keep America Safe and Free campaign to protect basic freedoms during a time of crisis, achieving court victories on the Patriot Act, uncovering thousands of pages of documents detailing the torture and abuse of detainees in U.S. custody, and filing the first successful legal challenge to the Bush administration's illegal NSA spying program. Romero also led the ACLU in establishing the John Adams Project, a joint effort with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers to assist the under-resourced military defense lawyers in the Guantánamo military commissions.
Romero has also led the ACLU in its unique legal challenge to the patents held by a private company on the human genes associated with breast and ovarian cancer; in its landmark lawsuit challenging Arizona’s anti-immigrant law that invites law enforcement to engage in racial profiling; and in its ongoing campaign to end mass incarceration, which has achieved significant victories, including the 2010 passage of the federal Fair Sentencing Act and the implementation of less punitive, evidence-based criminal justice reforms in several states.
An attorney with a history of public-interest activism, Romero has presided over the most successful membership growth in the ACLU's history and a large increase in national and affiliate staff. This extraordinary growth has allowed the ACLU to expand its nationwide litigation, lobbying and public education efforts, including new initiatives focused on human rights, racial justice, religious freedom, technology and privacy, reproductive freedom, criminal law reform and LGBT rights. In 2010, the ACLU completed the largest fundraising campaign on behalf of civil rights and civil liberties in American history. “Leading Freedom Forward: The ACLU Campaign for the Future,” along with the ongoing Strategic Affiliate Initiative, launched an unprecedented effort to build the organization's infrastructure by increasing funding to key state affiliates, enhancing advocacy capabilities nationwide and securing the ACLU's financial future.
Romero is the ACLU's sixth executive director, and the first Latino and openly gay man to serve in that capacity. In 2005, Romero was named one of Time Magazine's 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America, and has received dozens of public service awards and an honorary doctorate from the City University of New York School of Law.
In 2007, Romero and co-author and NPR correspondent Dina Temple-Raston published “In Defense of Our America: The Fight for Civil Liberties in the Age of Terror,” a book that takes a critical look at civil liberties in this country at a time when constitutional freedoms are in peril.
Born in New York City to parents who hailed from Puerto Rico, Romero was the first in his family to graduate from high school. He is a graduate of Stanford University Law School and Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and International Affairs. He is a member of the New York Bar Association and has sat on numerous nonprofit boards.
Geri E. Rozanski, Director, Affiliate Support and Advocacy
Geri E. Rozanski joined the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in 2002, bringing with her more than 20 years of experience working in nonprofit advocacy.
Currently, Rozanski serves as the Director of Affiliate Support and Advocacy for the ACLU. In this capacity, she develops and implements initiatives and programs that strengthen and maintain the connections between the ACLU and its nation-wide affiliates. Foremost among her responsibilities is ensuring that the ACLU national offices and their affiliates work together as a cohesive nationwide organization that seamlessly promotes and pursues common objectives. Rozanski's supervision of the multi-unit Affiliate Support and Advocacy department also incorporates working with all the ACLU's state affiliates in such areas as organizational development, fundraising, communications, marketing, training, and the advancement of the ACLU's state and federal priorities. As part of this process, Rozanski consults with both professional and lay leaders to establish long-lasting and effective partnerships organization-wide.
Prior to joining the ACLU, Rozanski worked as a public school teacher who also handled community relations issues in New York City and Maryland. She spent a number of years working in traditional and alternative classroom settings. After several years she left public education to pursue a career that would allow her to focus exclusively on community relations, civil rights, and building effective advocacy organizations to advance the progressive agenda. To this end, she joined the American Jewish Committee's ("AJC") Washington, DC chapter office. Working on race and interfaith relations, she eventually moved to the national office in New York City. While at the AJC's National Office, she oversaw program development in field offices on issues ranging from immigrants rights to church-state separation. She subsequently became the director of the AJC's large field operation overseeing thirty-three offices nationwide. This experience gave her a unique understanding of the ways in which a national organization can use its network of offices to leverage its combined strength to create a stronger and more effective organization. Under her leadership, the number of AJC field offices expanded to new geographic locations; fundraising campaigns in the offices reached record numbers; leadership development programs designed to attract young leaders were successfully implemented, and an advocacy network was created. Rozanski left the AJC to help the ACLU build its new Affiliate Support Department.
Emily Tynes, Communications Director
Emily Tynes is Communications Director of the national American Civil Liberties Union, the nation's premier defender of liberty and individual freedom. Tynes returned to the ACLU in 2009, resuming her role as the organization's Communications Director, which she previously held from 2002 to 2006. She currently supervises a three-unit department at the ACLU: media relations, publications and website development. She was most recently Executive Vice President of the Communications Consortium Media Center, a public interest media group that she co-founded in Washington, D.C.
Tynes has over 30 years of experience in communications regarding strategies for achieving policy and social change. She began her communications career as a news reporter with several Gannett Company newspapers, followed by four years as an account executive in the Washington, D.C., office of Ruder & Finn public relations.
In 1983, Tynes became the first communications director for the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) — now NARAL Pro-Choice — where she guided the organization's communications program during a highly volatile era of historic abortion rights battles. After that, she co-founded the Communications Consortium Media Center (CCMC), where she designed and implemented strategic communications campaigns on women's rights, racial equality, national energy policy and immigrants' rights. She has conducted strategic communications workshops for social justice advocates in the United States, Senegal, Jordan and Argentina.
Tynes initially joined the ACLU as Communications Director in 2002, shortly after the 9/11 terrorists attacks — a period of unprecedented assaults on civil liberties. As Communications Director, Tynes managed all communications functions of the organization and its state affiliates, including brand development, paid advertising, media relations and the development of multifaceted campaign strategies. She was responsible for several successful communications efforts and was the lead architect of the Safe & Free campaign, the organization's communications strategy on civil liberties post 9/11. She also spearheaded the production and distribution of the first-ever ACLU television series, the Freedom Files.
Tynes rejoined the Communications Consortium Media Center in November 2006, and returned to the ACLU in 2009.
Tynes is the editor of two reference books for journalists, The Newsroom Guide to Civil Rights and The Newsroom Guide to Abortion and Family Planning. She is co-author of the Jossey Bass Guide to Strategic Communications, a reference book for nonprofit communication professionals.
[Maura Larkins' comment: I notice that Ms. Tynes came back to the ACLU at about the same time that the organization switched its focus from civil liberties to "relationships".)