I joined the ACLU in 1999 after working with the RI Affiliate on legislation concerning health care confidentiality. As an attorney for people with disabilities, I have found the ACLU to be a strong ally in the legislature and in the courts on many issues impacting the rights of people with disabilities. Shortly after I came to Rhode Island, I learned of the Affiliate’s efforts to eliminate disability-specific questions on the application for admission to practice law in Rhode Island, and was impressed by the thoughtful way in which the ACLU successfully petitioned the Rhode Island Supreme Court to change its application questions. The ACLU continues to pursue eliminating similar barriers for people with disabilities and currently has a case pending against CVS that challenges questions on that company’s employment application that seem to screen out people with certain disabilities.
As a first year law student I learned of the ACLU and volunteered at a local ACLU law office to answer calls from the public and conduct legal research. I grew to appreciate the ACLU’s dedication to supporting the constitutional values I was studying in law school. Over the years the more I learned about the ACLU, the more grateful I became for the ACLU’s unswerving commitment to those basic principles and values that are embedded in our constitution.
Being a member of the ACLU gives me the opportunity to have a voice on issues that I care about, but have little opportunity to impact as one person -- like the rights of detainees held illegally and indefinitely, and the right of immigrants to fair and humane treatment.