Friday, November 21, 2014

Letter from the Chapter Advocating Body Cams

ACLU REDWOOD CHAPTER
917 Third Street
Eureka, CA 95501


November 20, 2014

Humboldt County Board of Supervisors
Eureka City Council
Arcata City Council
Redwood Empire Municipal Insurance Fund
Eureka Times Standard
Lost Coast Outpost
North Coast Journal
Mad River Union

Ladies and Gentlemen:

On November 18, 2014, the Board of Directors of the Redwood Chapter of the ACLU of Northern California unanimously adopted a resolution calling for all peace officers in Humboldt County to wear body cameras while on official duty. In a study conducted by the Rialto Police Department and reported in the New York Times on April 6, 2013, entitled "Wearing a Badge, and a Video Camera," it was found that body camera use by police reduced use-of -force incidents by 60%, and reduced citizen complaints against the police by 88%.

In the past ten years, police in Humboldt County have killed Cheri Lyn Moore, Christopher Burgess, Martin Cotton, Gabriel Cuevas-Maldonado, Jonni Honda, Zachary Cook, David Sequoia, Robert Garth, Eloy Infante-Toscano, Peter Stewart and Tommy McClain. Clearly, change is needed. The death of Cheri Moore did prompt some reforms in how police handle mentally ill people locally, and those reforms are to be applauded. We believe that introduction of mandatory body cameras will benefit both citizens and police.


Respectfully,



The Redwood ACLU Board of Directors

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Larry Glass attends ACLU Board, supports Police Body Cams

Just before the Board meeting this Tuesday, I went out to my car for a few things, and recognized Larry Glass. "What have you been doing with yourself?" I asked him. He said that he has been trying to keep under the radar, since he sold his business, and is no longer involved with politics in Eureka. He said that he intended to go to the Board meeting. I told him to go right in, a few members were already there, and the meeting hadn't started yet.

Larry told the Board that he was very upset about the last police shooting incident, in which Tommy McClain was shot by police because he possessed an unloaded BB replica handgun. (see North Coast Journal, http://www.northcoastjournal.com/Blogthing/archives/2014/09/17/eureka-police-shoot-kill-suspect) Larry said that he feels qualified to raise questions about the actions of the police because he was trained in a police academy in Los Angeles, and worked for several years with teenage gangs.

The investigation of the incident is ongoing, but Larry sees a lot of red flags appearing out of the information that is publicly available. (see Justice for Tommy McClain, https://www.facebook.com/JusticeForTommy) He believes that the officers involved did not follow police procedures, and that there are glaring discrepancies between how they reported the incident, and what relatives of Tommy McClain are saying.

According to Tommy's relatives, Tommy was upset about the activities of the neighbors next door. The house was in fact, being watched by police for drugs and other criminal activity. The police observed Tommy arguing with one of these neighbors, and reported that they saw that he had a gun.

Larry feels that the officer in charge was irresponsible for leaving his car, not turning on the camera, and approaching Tommy on foot, and drawing his own weapon unnecessarily. If he felt that McClain was dangerous, he would have approached him more carefully. It is unlikely that McClain would make a grab for his own gun, since it was unloaded. Since the camera was turned off, the officer's statements are less likely to be challenged. But their actions as police officers was questionable, to anyone familiar with established police practices, Larry asserts.

Greg Allen, Chairman, told Larry that the ACLU Board has been discussing the value of police body cameras, and that we are advocating their use in this area. Mr.Glass said that he agreed that body cams would be very effective for preventing a lot police violence, and would lend his name to our effort to advocate their use.  Peter Martin, Board member, said that the Eureka Police department has already lost a lot of money to victims of police killings, and stands to lose its current insurer after an incident such as this. The adoption of police body cams might become necessary to retain this insurance, he concluded.

--Steven Bridenbaugh, Redwood ACLU Board member

Monday, September 15, 2014

Ray McGovern to Speak at Humboldt State

ACLU of Northern California Redwood Chapter is hosting a special event with Ray McGovern, a CIA veteran, whisleblower and anti-surveillance advocate.

WHEN:
 Monday, September 22 from 7-9pm
WHERE: Humboldt State University, Kate Buchanan Room, 1 Harpst St, Arcata, CA 95521

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Thanks to Andrew McFarland-- full coverage of our Annual Meeting. Includes Richard Salzman's acceptance speech for the Patriot Award, and the outstanding panel discussion later in the evening.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Times Standard Article Covers ACLU Annual Meeting

Here's a link to the article and a picture of Peter Martin presenting the Annual Patriot Award to Richard Salzman. One correction: our current information pages are now at http://www.redwoodaclu.org

 The Times-Standard article:
http://www.times-standard.com/lifestyle/ci_22973584/aclu-honor-salzman

Also, coming soon: a video of the entire event, produced by Andrew McFarland, will soon be available from Access Humboldt. We owe them thanks for volunteering to work at our event!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Redwood ACLU Annual Meeting

On Monday, April 1, 2013 (no fooling!) please join your fellow lovers of liberty for the Annual Meeting of the Redwood Chapter, American Civil Liberties Union.

 The Redwood ACLU is delighted to present the Patriot Award to Richard
Salzman, in recognition for his efforts to expose the injustice of Arcata's
Panhandling Ordinance. Thanks to his civil disobedience and the
subsequent lawsuit, the ordinance was successfully nullified. Please read about Richard's involvement with this and other local social issues at richardslist  (http://www.richardslist.org/)

 The event starts at 6 p.m. with a potluck, followed by the election of our
2013 Redwood ACLU Board, our keynote speech, and the awarding of the
2012 Redwood ACLU Patriot Award.

For more information, call (707) 336-2258 or visit: http://www.redwoodaclu.org/

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Redwood ACLU to Hold First Eureka Council Candidate Debate


PRESS ADVISORY



Attention: For Immediate Release



Redwood ACLU to Hold First Eureka Council Candidate Debate




The Redwood Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is holding a Candidates' Debate on Civil Liberties for the candidates for Eureka City Council (Ward 2) on Wednesday, September 12th from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on live television -- Access Humboldt Channel 11 -- out of the Community Media Center studio at Eureka High School.


This debate will be held before a televised audience and in cooperation with independent producers working with Access Humboldt it will also be aired several times on public access Channels 11 & 12 and will likewise be available for later viewing on-line.


The debate will be moderated by Redwood ACLU Treasurer Peter Martin, and shall be staffed by other members of the Board of Directors of the Redwood ACLU, although any persons who have made any sort of campaign contribution or endorsement of any of the candidates in this year's election are excluded from involvement.


"The voters of Eureka actually have a contested race in this ward," Redwood ACLU Chair Greg Allen said. "The Redwood Chapter ACLU is pleased to be able to give the candidates a forum, and the voters a chance to hear and see what the candidates have to say."


The candidates have already expressed their willingness to participate in this debate, and both Linda Atkins and Joe Bonino are expected to attend. It is believed that this will be the first TV debate between the incumbent and challenger for this seat.


The debate sponsors held a successful televised debate for First District Supervisor earlier this year featuring Rex Bohn, Annette De Modena and Cheryl Seidner, with more audience questions flooding in than there was time for.


The Redwood ACLU kicked off this program by holding the only televised debate for all candidates for the Northern Humboldt High School District in 2005 at the Senior Room of the Arcata Community Center, and has also presented civil liberties-oriented forums for local city council races over the last seven years. In 2010, the Redwood ACLU hosted two televised debates, in both the primary and general elections, for all of the candidates running for District Attorney of Humboldt County -- the October 2010 run-off debate between Paul Gallegos and Allison Jackson was the first live event to be televised from the Access Humboldt studio at Eureka High School.


The Redwood ACLU, based in Eureka with over 850 members across the North Coast, is a non-partisan organization that never endorses or opposes candidates for public office.


The format of the debate will start with opening statements and an airing of the candidate’s views on questions posed by the moderator concerning civil liberties issues in Humboldt County. All other questions will be posed by phone-in questions from the television audience at (707) 336-2258 (in addition to Twitter questions @redwoodaclu and e-mail questions to redwoodaclu@hotmail.com), followed by closing statements. Each candidate will have the opportunity to issue rebuttals to the statements of the other.


Members of the press or public with questions may contact the Redwood ACLU at (707) 336-2258 or redwoodaclu@hotmail.com, or drop by our office at 917 Third Street in Old Town Eureka.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Redwood ACLU to Hold 1st District Supervisor Candidate Debate

The Redwood Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is holding a Candidates' Debate on Civil Liberties for the candidates for Humboldt County Supervisor (1st District) on Friday, May 25th from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on live television -- Access Humboldt Channel 11 -- out of the Community Media Center studio at Eureka High School.


This debate will be held before a televised audience and in cooperation with independent producers working with Access Humboldt it will also be aired several times on public access Channels 11 & 12 and will likewise be available for later viewing on-line.


The debate will be moderated by Redwood ACLU Boardmember Christina Allbright, and shall be staffed by other members of the Board of Directors of the Redwood ACLU, although any persons who have made any sort of campaign contribution or endorsement of any of the candidates in this year's election are excluded from involvement.


"The debate allows the voters to get a handle on what the candidates have to say in this important election," Redwood ACLU Chair Greg Allen said.


The candidates have already expressed their willingness to participate in this debate, and all three (Rex Bohn, Annette De Modena and Cheryl Seidner) are expected to attend.


The Redwood ACLU held the only televised debate for all candidates for the Northern Humboldt High School District in 2005 at the Senior Room of the Arcata Community Center, and has also presented civil liberties-oriented forums for local city council races over the last seven years. In 2010, the Redwood ACLU hosted two televised debates, in both the primary and general elections, for all of the candidates running for District Attorney of Humboldt County -- the October 2010 run-off debate between Paul Gallegos and Allison Jackson was the first live event to be televised from the Access Humboldt studio at Eureka High School. The Redwood ACLU, based in Eureka with over 850 members across the North Coast, is a non-partisan organization that never endorses or opposes candidates for public office.


The format of the debate will start with opening statements and an airing of the candidate’s views on questions posed by the moderator concerning civil liberties issues in Humboldt County. All other questions will be posed by phone-in questions from the television audience at (707) 336-2258, followed by closing statements. Each candidate will have the opportunity to issue rebuttals to the statements of others.


Members of the press or public with questions may contact the Redwood ACLU at (707) 336-2258 or redwoodaclu@hotmail.com, or drop by our office at 917 Third Street in Old Town Eureka.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Nomination Slate for 2012 Redwood ACLU Board of Directors

Presented by the Redwood ACLU Board of Directors.

(NOTE: The Board of Directors may add candidates to this slate at a special meeting on Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012 at 12 p.m.)

Annual Election held on April 23, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. in Bayside.

Current Redwood ACLU Boardmembers Steve Bridenbaugh, Stephen Davies, Peter Martin, Xandra Manns, Jack Munsee, and Timothy Such are midway through their two-year terms on the Board of Directors, and are thus not subject to this election.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS - AT LARGE SEATS
- two year terms -
CHOICE VOTE FOR 7

Greg Allen (incumbent)

Parke Bostrom (incumbent)

Charles Douglas (incumbent)

Minerva Williams (incumbent)

Christina Allbright


_________________________
(write-in name of Redwood ACLU member)


_________________________
(write-in name of Redwood ACLU member)


Members may make additional nominations from the floor at the time of the election to run as valid write-in candidates.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Redwood ACLU to Hold Eureka School Board Candidate Debate

The Redwood Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is holding a Candidates' Debate on Civil Liberties for the candidates for Eureka School Board, to be held on Wednesday, October 26th from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on live television -- Access Humboldt Channel 11 -- out of the Community Media Center studio at Eureka High School.

This debate will be held before a televised audience and in cooperation with independent producers working with Access Humboldt it will also be aired several times on public access Channels 11 & 12 and will likewise be available for later viewing on-line.

The debate will be moderated by Redwood ACLU Boardmember and Eureka resident Xandra Manns, and shall be staffed by other members of the Board of Directors of the Redwood ACLU, although any persons who have made any sort of campaign contribution or endorsement of any of the candidates in this year's election are excluded from involvement.

"The debate allows the voters to get a handle on what the candidates have to say in this important election," Redwood ACLU Chair Greg Allen said.

Unlike previous ACLU debates, one of the candidates for this public office has so far indicated their unwillingness to participate. Judy Anderson, the incumbent running for re-election to the Eureka School Board, sent the Redwood Chapter an e-mail indicating her decline of the invitation.

She wrote: "I believe an open format debate with questions coming from a live audience provides a fairer forum," even though, like the League of Women Voter's forums traditionally broadcast live on KEET TV, there will be a live television audience calling in their questions for the candidates.

"To even say that is patently absurd," Allen retorted. "History has shown that the debates we sponsor have been unbiased and impartial."

The Board of Directors of the Redwood ACLU met last week and unanimously determined to hold the debate regardless. There will be a chair held open for Judy Anderson; the other candidate, Susan Johnson, has already agreed to appear and participate without any demands to change the debate format.

The Redwood ACLU held the only televised debate for all candidates for the Northern Humboldt High School District in 2005 at the Senior Room of the Arcata Community Center, and has also presented civil liberties-oriented forums for local city council races over the last seven years. In 2010, the Redwood ACLU hosted two televised debates, in both the primary and general elections, for all of the candidates running for District Attorney of Humboldt County -- the October 2010 run-off debate between Paul Gallegos and Allison Jackson was the first live event to be televised from the Access Humboldt studio at Eureka High School. The Redwood ACLU, based in Eureka with over 850 members across the North Coast, is a non-partisan organization that never endorses or opposes candidates for public office.

The format of the debate will start with opening statements and an airing of the candidate’s views on questions posed by the moderator concerning civil liberties issues in Humboldt County. All other questions will be posed by phone-in questions from the television audience, followed by closing statements. Each candidate will have the opportunity to issue rebuttals to the statements of others.

Members of the press or public with questions may contact the Redwood ACLU at (707) 442-4419 or redwoodaclu@hotmail.com, or drop by our office at 917 Third Street in Old Town Eureka.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

PRESS RELEASE: Redwood ACLU Questions Arcata’s Anti-Protest Practices


PRESS RELEASE

Tuesday, April 19, 2010


Redwood ACLU Questions Arcata’s Anti-Protest Practices

Annual 4/20 pro-marijuana legalization demonstration draws concern


The Board of Directors of the Redwood Chapter, American Civil Liberties Union expressed concern today over the pattern of practices by City of Arcata officials in relation to the annual “4/20” marijuana legalization protest in Redwood Park, which falls every year on April 20th.


In particular, Redwood ACLU Boardmembers and other community members have witnessed a number of peculiar actions over the last couple of years by Arcata Police Department officers and other city staff. These include:


  • The erection of roadblocks on public streets leading to Redwood Park; and,

  • The blocking of public trails through public parkland leading to
    Redwood Park; and,

  • The shutdown of public parking lots and public restrooms; and,

  • The marching of a platoon of armed APD officers through Redwood Park to harass and intimidate college students and others engaged in peaceful protest, barking orders at them concerning the “trampling of foliage” and other nuisance-level complaints; and,

  • The ticketing of members of the public in an arbitrary and capricious manner.


“The over-reaction of the City of Arcata to what amounts to a low-impact, non-violent mass action to protest federal law is really uncalled for,” Vice Chair Jack Munsee said. “It’s possibly unconstitutional -- you have the right to peacefully protest.”


Redwood ACLU Boardmembers will be on hand tomorrow to act as observers.


The Redwood Chapter, ACLU represents over 850 ACLU members across Del Norte, Humboldt, Western Trinity and Northern Mendocino Counties. Their offices are located at 917 Third Street in Old Town Eureka. For more information, call the Redwood ACLU at (707) 442-4419 or visit redwoodaclu.blogspot.com.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Redwood ACLU Annual Meeting

Please join your fellow lovers of liberty for the Annual Meeting of the Redwood Chapter, American Civil Liberties Union!

Our keynote speaker is Dan Hamburg, former Congressman and newly elected Supervisor of Mendocino County. He'll discuss the future of civil liberties on the North Coast and take your questions!

The event starts at 6 p.m. with a potluck and music by Joe Garceau, followed by the election of our 2011 Redwood ACLU Board, our keynote speech and the awarding of the 2010 Redwood ACLU Patriot Award to a local civil rights champion.

For more information, call (707) 442-4419 or visit redwoodaclu.blogspot.com

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Redwood ACLU Board Meeting Tuesday Jan 18th Noon

The Board of Directors of the Redwood Chapter, ACLU will meet Tuesday, January 18th at 12:00 p.m. at the ACLU office at 917 Third Street, Suite Q (between J & K Streets) in Eureka.


The agenda will include an update on the implementation of Eureka's medical marijuana ordinance; an update on Humboldt County's Law Enforcement Committee; review of potential legal action against the City of Arcata over their anti-panhandling ordinance; updates on election reform efforts; discuss revisions to next year's nominating process for the Patriot Award; reports from Chapter officers and committees; and consideration of other items which Boardmembers or at-large members may bring up.

Board meetings are open to all ACLU members in good standing. Please call 442-4419 or drop by our office for more information or to request the inclusion of a new item on the meeting agenda.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Nomination Slate for 2011 Redwood ACLU Board of Directors

Presented by the Redwood ACLU Nominating Committee to the Board of Directors.

(NOTE: The Board of Directors may add candidates to this slate at their December 21st meeting. Further nominations may be submitted by petition through January 16, 2011.)

Annual Election held on January 31, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. in Bayside.

Current Redwood ACLU Boardmembers Greg Allen, Parke Bostrom, Charles Douglas and Minerva Williams are midway through their two-year terms on the Board of Directors, and are thus not subject to this election.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS - AT LARGE SEATS
- two year terms -
CHOICE VOTE FOR 8

Steve Bridenbaugh (incumbent)

Stephen Davies (incumbent)

Peter Martin (incumbent)

Jack Munsee (incumbent)

Xandra Manns


_________________________
(write-in name of Redwood ACLU member)


_________________________
(write-in name of Redwood ACLU member)

_________________________
(write-in name of Redwood ACLU member)


Members may make additional nominations from the floor at the time of the election to run as valid write-in candidates.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Redwood ACLU Nominating Committee Tuesday Nov 16th 11:15 a.m.

The first and only meeting of the year for the Nominating Committee of the Redwood Chapter, ACLU will meet on Tuesday, November 16 at 11:15 a.m at our office at 917 Third Street in Eureka.

The members of the Nominating Committee include three current Boardmembers and two at-large ACLU members who are not currently on the Chapter Board: Greg Allen, Charles Douglas, Steve Bridenbaugh, Xandra Manns and Jamie Rose.

This committee is charged with developing a slate of up to eight [8] candidates for consideration by the Chapter Board for new two-year terms on the Board. The Chapter Board will then adopt this slate, with or without amendment, to be presented to the Redwood Chapter membership to stand for election to the next Chapter Board at the Annual Meeting on January 31st, 2011 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall in Bayside, CA.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Redwood ACLU Board Meeting Tuesday Nov 16th Noon

The Board of Directors of the Redwood Chapter, ACLU will meet Tuesday, November 16th at 12:00 p.m. at the ACLU office at 917 Third Street, Suite Q (between J & K Streets) in Eureka.

The agenda will include an update on the implementation of Eureka's medical marijuana ordinance; an update on Humboldt County's Law Enforcement Committee; review of potential legal action against the City of Arcata over their anti-panhandling ordinance; updates on election reform efforts; discuss revisions to next year's nominating process for the Patriot Award; reports from Chapter officers and committees; and consideration of other items which Boardmembers or at-large members may bring up.

Board meetings are open to all ACLU members in good standing. Please call 442-4419 or drop by our office for more information or to request the inclusion of a new item on the meeting agenda.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Redwood ACLU Board Meeting Tuesday Oct 19th Noon

The Board of Directors of the Redwood Chapter, ACLU will meet Tuesday, October 19th at 12:00 p.m. at the ACLU office at 917 Third Street, Suite Q (between J & K Streets) in Eureka.

The agenda will include an update on the implementation of Eureka's medical marijuana ordinance; an update on Humboldt County's Law Enforcement Committee; review of potential legal action against the City of Arcata over their anti-panhandling ordinance; updates on election reform efforts; discuss revisions to next year's nominating process for the Patriot Award; reports from Chapter officers and committees; and consideration of other items which Boardmembers or at-large members may bring up.

Board meetings are open to all ACLU members in good standing. Please call 442-4419 or drop by our office for more information or to request the inclusion of a new item on the meeting agenda.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Redwood ACLU to Hold DA Runoff Candidates’ Debate on Civil Liberties


PRESS RELEASE



Attention: For Immediate Release



Redwood ACLU to Hold DA Runoff Candidates’ Debate on Civil Liberties



The Redwood Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union announces the Runoff Candidates' Debate on Civil Liberties for both remaining candidates for District Attorney of Humboldt County, to be held on Tuesday, October 12th from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on live television -- Access Humboldt Channel 12 -- out of the Community Media Center studio at Eureka High School.


This debate will be held before a televised audience and in cooperation with independent producers working with Access Humboldt it will also be aired several times on public access Channels 11 & 12 and will likewise be available for later viewing on-line.


The debate will be moderated by Redwood ACLU chair Greg Allen, and shall be staffed by other members of the Board of Directors of the Redwood ACLU, although any persons who have made any sort of campaign contribution or endorsement of any of the candidates in this year's election are excluded from involvement.


“We’re anticipating a lively debate where we really dig deep into the justice system here in Humboldt County,” Allen said. “We’ve strived to strike a balance where the debate will get some answers on vital civil rights issues from each candidate, but also leave plenty of room to address other concerns raised by community members.”


The Redwood ACLU held the only televised debate for candidates for the Northern Humboldt High School District in 2005 at the Senior Room of the Arcata Community Center, and has also presented civil liberties-oriented forums for local city council races over the last six years. The Redwood ACLU, based in Eureka with over 850 members across the North Coast, is a non-partisan organization that never endorses or opposes candidates for public office. Our state affiliate, the ACLU of Northern California, is also providing support for this event.


The format of the debate will start with opening statements and an airing of the candidate’s views on questions posed by the moderator concerning civil liberties issues in Humboldt County. All other questions will be posed by phone-in questions from the television audience, followed by closing statements. Each candidate will have the opportunity to issue rebuttals to the statements of others.


Members of the press or public with questions may contact the Redwood ACLU at (707) 442-4419 or redwoodaclu@hotmail.com, or drop by our office at 917 Third Street in Old Town Eureka.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: Redwood ACLU Opposes Unconstitutional Campaign Finance Proposals

PRESS RELEASE

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Redwood ACLU Opposes Unconstitutional Campaign Finance Proposals

Arcata’s Committee on Democracy and Corporations continues to push extremist agenda

The Redwood Chapter, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announces today their complete and continued opposition to the campaign finance law amendments being pushed on the Arcata City Council by the Committee on Democracy and Corporations.

Specifically, the proposed changes, most of which are unchanged from a proposal first made in January and then hastily withdrawn, would ban any campaign contributions by all organizations to any candidate, initiative, referendum or recall campaign; impose limits on contributions (from any source) to support or oppose ballot initiatives, referenda and recall campaigns; ban any campaign contributions by minors; impose severe campaign spending limits; ban campaign loans; and severely limit the ability of the City Council to make inflation-adjusted changes to the candidate contribution limits approved by voter initiative over a decade ago.

“It’s regrettable that all this time and effort is being put into an ordinance that will not achieve its goal,” Redwood ACLU Treasurer Peter Martin said.

It is longstanding ACLU policy on the local, state and national level that political contributions, as well as political expenditures, are core constitutional activities affecting freedom of expression and freedom of association. While the Redwood ACLU does not oppose the current reasonable campaign contribution caps currently in place in Arcata, the chapter did oppose Measure T on constitutional grounds, concerns which were validated by Federal Judge Susan Illston in her ruling which completely invalidated Measure T.

“The California Corporations Code, Section 18, preempts the ability of any local government to define a person in a different way from state law,” Redwood ACLU Chair Greg Allen said. “These self same issues have already gone to federal court and resulted in a stipulated judgment that ended up costing the county of Humboldt over $100,000. Now the same people are trying the exact same type of scheme in Arcata.”

The courts have repeatedly ruled that extremely low contribution limits towards ballot initiatives are unconstitutional, and no such limits are in place in California, or in any city in California, or in any county in California. The courts have also found that banning organizations (even non-profit ones such as the ACLU) from making contributions to initiative campaigns is also unconstitutional.

“While at face value I can see why these people want to oppose the power of large campaign contributions, they’re not considering the implications of these actions,” Redwood ACLU Boardmember Steve Bridenbaugh said. “The answer lies in an equitable system of public financing of elections and unencumbered access to the public airwaves.”

“This ordinance is predestined to fail,” Redwood ACLU Secretary Parke Bostrom said. “It is nothing more than an attempt to generate publicity.”

The Redwood Chapter, ACLU represents over 850 ACLU members across Del Norte, Humboldt, Western Trinity and Northern Mendocino Counties. Their offices are located at 917 Third Street in Old Town Eureka. For more information, call the Redwood ACLU at (707) 442-4419 or visit redwoodaclu.blogspot.com.