aclu priorities survey for 2015 (and my responses)

Es­ti­mated reading time is 2 min­utes.

AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION. The name causes re­flexes of loathing in con­ser­v­a­tives, de­spite the fact that the ACLU has done more for their be­lief in in­di­vidual rights than all the con­serca­tive po­lit­ical op­er­a­tions in his­tory. I just re­ceived an email from the Amer­ican Civil Lib­er­ties Union re­questing that I fill out their ACLU Pri­or­i­ties Survey.

The in­tro­duc­tion stated, “As the ACLU pre­pares for the chal­lenges of the coming year, we need your ideas and opin­ions. Your in­di­vidual re­sponses will re­main con­fi­den­tial but, in ag­gre­gate, will be tab­u­lated and shared with our teams as they craft plans for 2015.”

Of course I filled it out and sub­mitted it.

Part 1: Fundamental freedoms

The first ques­tion was, “From your per­sonal per­spec­tive, which of the fol­lowing fun­da­mental free­doms is most in jeop­ardy right now?” My op­tions were:

•  Pri­vacy

•  Voting rights

•  Racial justice

•  Re­pro­duc­tive freedom

These were fol­lowed by a box/field marked “Other.” I se­lected this op­tion and wrote, “Economic/occupational freedom.”

Part 2: Hopefullnesses

This was fol­lowed by an­other state­ment: “On each of the fol­lowing is­sues, please in­di­cate how hopeful you are that the ACLU can make gen­uine progress in 2015.” Five choices were given:

•  Reining in out-of-control gov­ern­ment surveillance

•  Ending racial pro­filing and holding po­lice ac­count­able for ex­ces­sive use of force

•  Win­ning the freedom to marry in all 50 states and ending em­ploy­ment dis­crim­i­na­tion based on sexual orientation

•  Pro­tecting wom­en’s ac­cess to birth con­trol and keeping abor­tion clinics open

•  Turning back voter ID laws and other voter sup­pres­sion tac­tics aimed at vul­ner­able voters

My op­tions were Very Hopeful, Some­what Hopeful, Not Very Hopeful, and Not Hopeful At All. All my se­lec­tions in­cluded the word “Not.”

Part 3: Effectiveness

This was fol­lowed by a ques­tion: “How ef­fec­tive do you think each of the fol­lowing strate­gies will be in helping the ACLU pro­tect civil lib­er­ties in 2015?” Four choices followed:

•  On-the-ground or­ga­nizing and mo­bi­liza­tion efforts
•  Get­ting our mes­sage out via tra­di­tional and new media platforms
•  Leg­isla­tive ad­vo­cacy efforts
•  Law­suits and legal ac­tion to chal­lenge civil lib­er­ties abuses

My op­tions were Very Ef­fec­tive, Some­what Ef­fec­tive, Not Very Ef­fec­tive, and Not Ef­fec­tive At All. All my se­lec­tions in­cluded the word “Not.”

Part 4: Other thoughts

Fi­nally, there was a box/field that stated, “Do you have any other thoughts you would like to share with the ACLU?” And I typed this into that box:

“All or­ga­ni­za­tions that sup­port lib­eral or pro­gres­sive causes should con­sider in­forming their mem­bers that the vast rightwing con­spiracy is very real. That those mem­bers should think of people who vote for rightwing po­lit­ical can­di­dates the same way that those people think of lib­erals: as per­sonal en­e­mies and en­e­mies of the State—even if those voters are com­pletely un­aware of the role that they are playing in strip­ping us of pri­vacy, voting rights, racial jus­tice, re­pro­duc­tive freedom, and economic/occupational freedom.”

Ain’t gonna happen, but it needs to . . .


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