When it was confirmed that the presidential nominee whose campaign promises snuffed the Constitution had indeed been elected, ACLU donations and new memberships suddenly poured in.
When President Trump was sworn in, and that day the ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act request for documents regarding business conflicts of interest and violations of the Emoluments Clause, the donations and new memberships surged.
When Trump promptly started enacting his campaign promises including the Muslim ban and the ACLU filed its constitutional challenge, the donations and new memberships crescendoed.
Now, with membership tripled to 1.2 million and over $80 million in new online contributions, the ACLU is reinforcing its state affiliates, hiring new litigators/advocacy professionals/support staff and expanding office space to accommodate them.
National is also strengthening the membership database system and launching a grassroots mobilization plan. As always, the bulk of the money will go to program — the ACLU ratio is 86% program and 14% management including fund-raising.
The ACLU has lawsuits in the works to challenge attempts to deport millions of undocumented immigrants. Other suits will confront discrimination by federal employees and agencies targeting LGBT equality and reproductive rights under the color of religious freedom. The ACLU stands vigilant and primed to fight any violation of the liberties and rights guaranteed by our Constitution.
As a vital addition to sustained litigation, the ACLU is constructing a nationwide platform for grassroots mobilization to oppose Trump’s attacks on civil liberties. The program will enlist and engage members in all affiliates to partner with national in lobbying activities, town hall advocacy, acts of organized protest, and other calls to action.
The platform, People Power, is being shaped and erected by digital organizers who worked in the White House, the Bernie Sanders campaign, and other leading activist groups. If you haven’t already, today is the day for you to sign up at PeoplePower.org and become a team activist. The ACLU is no longer a paternalistic you-write-the-check-and-we’ll-take-care-of-the- rest organization. The ACLU is recruiting a formidable force of civil liberties champions. Organizers say our force will “defend sanctuary cities, resist deportation raids, oppose the Muslim Ban, maintain Planned Parenthood funding and support other organizational priorities.” The work that lies ahead will be tough. Now is the time to join the resistance and amplify its power.