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Winter 2020 Newsletter

Photo by Jena Cumbo
Donna Lieberman by Jena Cumbo.

A New Day in New York
A message from NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman:

It’s a new day in New York: our state finally is standing up for the rights and dignity of allNew Yorkers. 2019 was a productive year for the NYCLU with enormous wins in both the State Legislature and the courts. We had much to cheer for in Albany as lawmakers tackled nearly three-quarters of the importantcivil liberties issues that we called for before the session began (see: “And Albany Listened”). We saw landmark victories in voting rights, reproductive justice, protections for immigrants, criminal justice reform and protections against hate and discrimination.

Through litigation, we’ve fought back against Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda and secured many wins in the process. In addition, we continue our work to hold police departments accountable and urge them to commit to transparency.These advances and more were the result of years of work by the NYCLU, ACLU, our partners—lawyers, advocates, organizers, clients—and you. But we can only expect the attacks on our democracy to intensify as Trump pursues a second term.The NYCLU recently released another civil liberties agenda, Leading the Way, to provide a roadmap for Albany to further position New York as a beacon of hope and blueprint for the rest of the country.

We call on the legislature to:

  • Resist the fear mongering campaign led by law enforcement and prosecutors to derail the changes we’ve made to our criminal legal system. We must continue to push towards a system that neither criminalizes poverty nor relies on jails.
  • Amend the state constitution to include anti-discrimination protections based on a person’s sex, pregnancy outcomes, sexual orientation, national origin and disability.
  • Stand up for students by passing the Solutions Not Suspensions Act and requiring comprehensive sexual health education in schools.
  • Expand our democracy by making automatic voter registration a reality, ensuring voting rightsfor people on parole.

At, you can find the full 2020 civil liberties agenda. 2020 is shaping up to be an enormous challenge.

As we focus on our ambitious agenda for New York, we’ll also have knots in our stomachs about the upcoming elections. But whatever happens, I find solace in the fact that you will be by our side as we push for lasting equality in New York.

As bold as the spirit of New York, we are the NYCLU.
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Civil Liberties Union