As fall blankets Utah with cooler temperatures and colorful foliage, our office has been reflecting on the whirlwind of the last twelve months. During this time of rumination, while we can’t help but be reminded of the discontent and adversity that has peppered 2017, we are determined to move forward into 2018 with a positive outlook. We are concentrating on our mission, being proud of our work, and, perhaps, most importantly, we are focusing on being grateful to all of you who have made us feel prepared, strong, and supported.
Most can agree that the 2016 Election results were… unexpected… to say the very least. Unfortunately, that was only the first of many surprises and disappointments since last November.
Protecting civil liberties has been disheartening and exhausting… again, to say the very least.
Yet, at a time in the year when Utah’s scenery is at its most awe-inspiring and when a day of thanksgiving is just around the corner, what should not be forgotten are the successes that can, and should be, celebrated by all in this state. We also recognize the immense gratitude we feel for our friends, our donors, our growing membership base, and all those in Utah who are refusing to accept uncertainty, anxiety, and anger as the new norm. We thank all of you who have stood up since last November: you have fought fiercely to protect freedoms and protested loudly to promote equality.
In the last year, we have welcomed more than 6,500 new members, more than tripling our membership! It is because of YOU, a total of more than 8,000 ACLU of Utah members and donors, that we have prevailed through ups and downs, frustrations and fatigue, and that we are able to remember that this last year has seen many victories.
The 2017 Utah Legislative Session revealed some new and somewhat unexpected allies, as well as a range of very positive bills advancing civil rights and liberties. Several ACLU of Utah legal cases moved forward in our favor, and caused our legal team to celebrate on more than one occasion. We were also able to do more community outreach and public education than ever before, including (but not limited to) connecting with almost 19,000 email subscribers (just in Utah!), presenting 57 informational or education lectures and demonstrations, and hosting a Community Lobby Training event that was live-streamed for the first time and viewed by thousands!
You have not only offered encouraging words, but you have yelled rallying cries.
You have not only extended helping hands, but you have lifted us off the ground when we needed it most.
Your small and large contributions, alike, have not only allowed our work to be continued, but have enabled our reach to be broader and our efforts more effective.
YOUR support has combatted the seemingly endless attacks on constitutional values.
YOUR involvement has defended yours, ours, and all of our mutual friends’, neighbors’, and community members’ rights and liberties.
YOU are the reason the ACLU of Utah exists and the reason it is successful.
This article was first published in the Liberty Reporter: 2017 Fall Newsletter >>