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Membership Meeting Explores Utah Activism Since 2016

17 11 16 MemberMtg 4ACLU staff, board and supporters shared goals and insights during last November’s annual meeting

One of the benefits of being a ‘card-carrying member’ of the ACLU is attending the annual membership meeting.

Every fall the ACLU of Utah organizes a forum to describe our current priorities and future work, provide a financial overview of the organization, and give members a chance to ask questions and provide feedback.

Last November, ACLU of Utah members filled a room at the Wasatch Retreat and Conference Center in Salt Lake City to meet the staff and learn about the affiliate’s recent accomplishments and future goals. 

The evening began with Executive Director Brittney Nystrom providing an overview of the ACLU of Utah’s mission, organizational structure and new staffing hires, and how the organization had changed in the last year—including an astounding 400% increase in overall membership since November 2016.

She was followed by Legal Director John Mejia, Legislative & Policy Counsel Marina Lowe, and Community Outreach Fellow María del Mar González, who provided numerous updates on the organization’s legal, legislative, and advocacy activities and accomplishments. Highlights included our continuing work on criminal justice reform, advancing voting access on the Navajo Nation, achieving more equal rights and protections against discrimination, as well as previews of the new Campaign for Smart Justice and the ACLU of Utah’s 60th anniversary in 2018.

The evening concluded with a panel discussion titled, “The Landscape of Activism Post-November 2016,” featuring long-time civil rights activist Archie Archuleta, Lisa Rampton Halverson (Mormon Women for Ethical Government), Andrea Himoff (Action Utah), Lex Scott (United Front and Black Lives Matter), and James Singer (Utah League of Native American Voters, Utahns for Fair Wages), and moderated by the ACLU’s María del Mar González. The panel addressed whether today’s post-Trump activist environment is different from movements that came before, and how community members can protect themselves from burn-out and apathy. 

 The entire meeting was broadcast in real-time to an audience of hundreds on Facebook Live, our first use of this powerful new media platform for a membership meeting.

 The ACLU of Utah’s next membership meeting will be held in November 2018—and we hope to see you there. ◄

This article was first published in the Liberty Reporter: 2018 Spring Newsletter >>