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We can be pretty sure that each new day will bring two things: new threats to our civil liberties, and new stories of people standing up for their rights and winning. Behind every court ruling is a person. Behind every landmark law is a movement. Read the stories and hear the voices that ground our work.

Girl holding #AB 392 sign
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California is About to Enact One of the Strongest Laws to Prevent Police Shootings

Aug 19, 2019
California families impacted by police violence, advocates, and allies just made history. Today, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 392, the California Act to Save Lives, a bill to address police shootings – one of the most pressing forms of police violence afflicting Black and brown communities in the state. With this new law, California will go from having one of the deadliest, most permissive use ... Read More
person holding a #freethevote sign in front of a crowd of people
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Our Democracy Needs Everyone, Including People on Parole

Aug 16, 2019
After a parole board granted Richard Mireles his freedom earlier this year, he was shocked to learn that he still couldn’t cast a vote in California, the state he had lived in since he was born. Just three months shy of his 21st birthday, a court gave Richard a life sentence on his first felony case. In the two decades of his incarceration, Richard worked hard to change his life. He got sober, wor... Read More
Photo of pillars, SB 144
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California’s Justice System is a Debt Trap

Aug 05, 2019
Erica Smith was making a fresh start. After being forced out of her home by domestic violence, she had spent the last three years cycling between homelessness and jail for petty offenses. But with the help of reentry organization Starting Over Inc., she finally secured stable housing and a job helping women who had experienced challenges like hers. She found community support in the Riverside chap... Read More
We have rights poster
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WE HAVE RIGHTS: To prepare for encounters with Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE)

Jul 09, 2019
The American Civil Liberties Union along with Brooklyn Defender Services (BDS), created “We Have Rights,” a national immigrant empowerment campaign to inform immigrant communities of what to do when interacting with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The campaign centers around four animated videos available in seven languages: English, Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin, Russian, Haitian Creole... Read More
silhouette of woman in front of trans flag
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Fighting for Black Trans Women this Pride and Beyond

Jun 28, 2019
This Pride weekend, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, let’s march, let’s celebrate, let’s party. But first let us remember today and always that the lives of Black trans people, and specifically the lives of Black trans women, matter. Let’s recognize and memorialize the great social, political, and civil rights gains achieved over the past 50 years by Black and Latin... Read More
Hands raised in the air to vote
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Lack of Voter Participation, Not Fraud, Real Problem in California Elections

Jun 21, 2019
Every four years when there is a presidential primary, many voters who decline to state a party preference are surprised when their mail-in ballot arrives and it is missing the presidential candidates. They then scramble to get a replacement, which can result in one voter receiving two ballots. Elections officials in Contra Costa and Santa Clara Counties have alleged that they discovered 191 ca... Read More
this stops today
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Lessons from Juneteenth, Our Continued Fight for Freedom

Jun 19, 2019
Two and a half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, Black people in Galveston, Texas were told that they were free. Juneteenth is widely celebrated as “Freedom Day.” Yet is commemorating this date when Black folks belatedly got the news that they could legally no longer be enslaved really the best way to mark their freedom? I often struggle with what it means to be f... Read More
Photo of Congress
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H.R. 40 Is Not a Symbolic Act. It’s a Path to Restorative Justice.

Jun 17, 2019
For nearly three decades, my former colleague Rep. John Conyers of Michigan would introduce H.R. 40, legislation seeking to establish a commission to study and develop reparation proposals. Though many thought it a lost cause, he believed that a day would come when our nation would need to account for the brutal mistreatment of African Americans during chattel slavery, Jim Crow segregation, and th... Read More
Crowd Marching for Racial Justice
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America, It Is Time to Talk About Reparations

Jun 17, 2019
We are two months away from the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved people arriving in what would become the United States of America. It is time to renew the public discussion about reparations to descendants of Africans who were enslaved as our country was forming and growing rich.  First as colonies and then as a nation, America has existed longer with slavery (1619-1865: 246 years) than... Read More
Traffic Cameras
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Records Reveal ICE Agents Run Thousands of License Plate Queries a Month in Massive Location Database

Jun 05, 2019
On February 27, 2018, at 4:54 p.m., a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent typed a query into a database of driver locations collected by automated license plate readers across the United States. The license plate database returned nine results. As an explanation for why ICE was searching the database, the agent gave the following reason: "ADMINISTRATIVE SPOUSE OF TARGET" This was ... Read More
Text stating that Abortion is healthcare and is a right.
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Know Your Rights: Abortion Access in California

May 28, 2019
Since January, politicians (overwhelmingly male) have passed laws severely restricting abortions in six states — Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio. These politicians have stopped pretending that their restrictions are about making abortion care safer. These laws are about taking away the right to abortion. They are being clear, so let us be even clearer: abortion is ba... Read More
Family Photo Face Surveillance Pic
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Your Personal Information is Yours, Not the Raw Material for Surveillance Technology

May 09, 2019
The information that you share with a company should not be repurposed or sold without your consent. But companies are building algorithms from massive repositories of personal information, collected from people who are not told about how the company will use their information. A recent report revealed a troubling example of this invasive practice. A Silicon Valley-based company called Ever app... Read More