Colorado Rights Blog


  • Executive Director Nathan Woodliff-Stanley spoke at the marriage equality rally on March 3rd

  • Leisel Kemp, whose brother Jason was killed by CSP after they entered his home without a warrant, spoke at the 2013 Bill of Rights Dinner about the ACLU’s legal advocacy on behalf of her family.

  • Out of Sight, Out of Mind is an original short film from the ACLU of Colorado about a man who has spent 17 years in solitary confinement and now suffers from debilitating mental illness.


The staff of the ACLU of Colorado is comprised of dedicated professionals with years of experience …

Nathan Woodliff-Stanley, Executive Director

NathanNathan Woodliff-Stanley became Executive Director of the ACLU of Colorado in October, 2012. Nathan is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister who served for eight years in social justice ministry at Jefferson Unitarian Church in Golden, CO before joining the ACLU. He is a Board member of the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado, and chair of its Public Policy Commission. Before moving to Colorado in 2002, Nathan served for 10 years as the founding Executive Director of the Mississippi Center for Nonprofits in Jackson, MS, a statewide association providing management support for charitable organizations. He has served on more than a dozen nonprofit boards over the past thirty years. Originally from Iowa, Nathan earned a BA from Swarthmore College and Masters degrees from Yale Divinity School and the Yale School of Management. He has lived in the Stapleton area for the past eight years with his wife Ruth, Rector of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, and their two teenage sons.

Stephen Meswarb, Deputy Director

StephenColorado native Stephen Meswarb returned home to work for the ACLU of Colorado in June 2010, bringing with him nearly 20 years of non-profit fundraising experience, including more than eight years working for the national ACLU. He spent three years managing the ACLU’s $335 million Leading Freedom Forward campaign, the largest campaign on behalf of civil rights and civil liberties in the country’s history. He is now responsible for managing all aspects of operations, finance and administration. Reach him at

Pat Blumenthal, Director of Philanthropy


Pat Blumenthal joined the ACLU of Colorado team in June, 2011 as the Director of Philanthropy for the ACLU, leading fundraising and donor cultivation strategies. Prior to coming to the ACLU of Colorado she served as the Executive Director of Hillel, where she led two successful capital campaigns that raised more than $5 million to complete construction of the Merage & Allon Hillel Center at the University of Denver and the David and Laura Merage Hillel Center at Colorado State University. Previous nonprofit experience also includes working as the Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado and many years spent as a community and national field organizer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Evergreen State College.  Contact her at

John Krieger, Director of Communications and Outreach

JohnJohn Krieger is the Director of Communications and Outreach for the ACLU of Colorado. Previously, he was a staff attorney, lobbyist, and Communications Director for the United States Public Interest Research Group in Washington D.C., where he led successful media and grassroots organizing campaigns on issues ranging from public health and product safety to eliminating waste and fraud in federal contracting. He has secured quotes and placed media in several national and local outlets, including the New York Times, Associated Press, Denver Post, and the Wall Street Journal. He directed a national field campaign to create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which The Hill recognized as one of the top 10 lobbying victories of 2010. He earned his law degree from the University of Richmond and a Master’s of Law specialized in International Protection of Human Rights from American University. He serves on the Alumni Board of Directors for Flagler College, where he earned an undergraduate degree in journalism and public relations, and he was awarded the Young Alumni Achievement Award in 2010. Email him at

Denise Maes, Public Policy Director

DeniseFormer White House Office of Administration General Counsel Denise Maes returned in November 2011 to Denver, her adopted home, to work for the ACLU of Colorado. Pronounced one of the Top Seven Women Lawyers by LAW WEEK Colorado in 2009, Denise left the firm of Berenbaum Weinshienk & Eason, where she was partner, to serve as General Counsel for the White House Office of Administration in the Executive Office of President Barack Obama. Later, she directed Budget and Finance operations for the Office of Vice President Joe Biden. A co-founder and former Director of the Colorado Latina Initiative, Denise served as Chair of the Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Chair of Mi Casa Resource Center for Women, Director of the Downtown Denver Partnership, and as Director of the Colorado Women’s Bar and Hispanic Bar associations. Celebrated in the legal, business, social justice and Latina/o communities, she was lauded in 2010 as “Barrister of the Year” by The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Colorado (The Center). Email her at

Mark Silverstein, Legal Director

MarkMark Silverstein is a 1989 graduate of the Illinois College of Law. He served for a year as law clerk to Judge James Moran of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and another year as law clerk for Judge Harry Pregerson of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In 1991, he began working as a staff attorney for the ACLU of Southern California in Los Angeles. Since 1996, he has worked as Legal Director of the ACLU of Colorado, where he oversees the ACLU’s litigation in a wide variety of cases raising issues of civil liberties and constitutional rights.

Patricia DeLuna-Zickefoose, Accountant

TrishPatricia is the staff accountant for the ACLU since 2006. She has had her own accounting practice since 1984 and other non-profit clients include the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, The Denver Justice Council, the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, and Wedontwaste, as well as for-profit corporations, partnerships and individuals. A California Bay Area native, she has resided in Colorado since 1983.


Jessica Howard, Legal Assistant

JessJessica Howard is the Legal Assistant for the ACLU of Colorado. Prior to working with the ACLU, Jessica worked as the Legislative Intern for Colorado State Senator Gail Schwartz in 2003. She also worked as the Legal Intern for Colorado Legal Services in 2009. Jessica received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Colorado and is currently pursuing her Certificate in Paralegal Studies. A Colorado native, Jessica is excited to work for the ACLU of Colorado because of their “continued dedication to protect the civil liberties of all citizens in Colorado.”

Jayme Kritzler, Economic Justice Fellow

JaymeJayme graduated from the University of California, Davis in June 2014 with a degree in Community and Regional Development. As the 2014-2015 Economic Justice Fellow at the ACLU of Colorado, Jayme primarily investigates the inequities poor individuals face in Colorado’s criminal justice system to provide the basis for legislation, advocacy, litigation, and public education. While at UC Davis, Jayme had internships that related to social justice issues such as inner-city food insecurity and affordable housing. She also taught English language development to elementary-aged students at a public school and tutored at the Yolo County Juvenile Detention Facility. Jayme is absolutely thrilled to be at the ACLU. As a born-and-bred Californian, she can’t wait to explore the beautiful state of Colorado.

Sara R. Neel, Staff Attorney

SaraNIn October 2011, Sara Neel was hired as staff attorney at the ACLU of Colorado, for the first time in our history bringing our cadre of legal eagles to three. Sara was an Associate Attorney at KILLMER, LANE & NEWMAN, LLP, where she represented clients in civil rights cases involving constitutional law, federal civil rights statues and Colorado State law. A graduate of Indiana University at Indianapolis where she received her Juris Doctorate, Neel is well-known for her defense of detainees at Guantanomo Bay, Cuba. That work earned her the Southern Center for Human Rights Frederick Douglass Human Rights Award. She was also a co-recipient of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association Access to Justice Award. A former President of the Colorado Plantiff Employment Lawyers Association and a former Vice-Chair of the Civil Rights Committee of the Colorado Bar Association, Neel also was once restaurant general manager at a Keystone, Colorado ski resort.

Caryn Osterman, Operations Manager

CarynCaryn joined the ACLU of Colorado Development team in January of 2007. As Operations Manager since April 2010, she oversees the Legal Intake Department, coordinates the Education, Volunteer, IT and Human Resources programs and manages overall office operations. Caryn received her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the University of Massachusetts and an M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Colorado, Denver. A New York native, Caryn  enjoys working on a variety of projects that support the ACLU’s mission and is honored to have the opportunity to work with the many wonderful and committed individuals who volunteer and support the organization. Caryn is a Child Care Health Consultant and the owner of CO2 Designs.

Kiela Parks, Advocacy Associate

KielaKiela Parks joined the ACLU in July 2012. As our Advocacy Associate, she works with the Public Policy Director and coalition partners to develop legislative strategy to advance civil liberties in the state legislature and through ballot initiatives. She also works with our Communications and Outreach Director as our social media and website coordinator. Originally from California, Kiela received her MA in International Human Rights from the University of Denver in 2012. Her professional experience includes working at a nonprofit organization to administer community service sentences, protecting the rights of disabled employees at a California law firm, and the development/execution of communications and development strategies for the Josef Korbel School of International Studies.

Rachel Pryor-Lease, Stewardship and Events Manager

RachelRachel Pryor-Lease is the Stewardship and Events Manager for the ACLU. She is responsible for supporting all fundraising efforts and organizing the annual Whitehead dinner. Prior to joining the Colorado office, she has worked for the ACLU of Washington, the LGBT Community Center of New York, and Nativity House, a daytime, drop-in homeless shelter in Tacoma, WA. She also had a second career as a NYC pastry chef. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She grew up in Colorado but has lived on both the West and East coasts and is thrilled to be back home. She married her wife, Leah, in 2010 in Massachusetts, and they currently live in Denver with their twins Ari and Asher and their dog, Bubba. Email her at

Lindsay Schlageter, Communications Campaign Manager

LindsayLindsay Schlageter comes to the ACLU of Colorado with a background in conservation communications. For the past six years she worked in Washington, D.C. on campaigns to designate wilderness on federal public lands throughout the country, including extensive communications work on the 2009 Omnibus Public Land Management Act, which protected two million acres of wilderness across nine states. Prior to that she worked in community relations for the American Cancer Society in the greater Minneapolis suburbs. Lindsay has an undergraduate degree in communication studies from the University of Minnesota and a Masters degree in public communication from American University. She recently relocated to Denver with her husband to live closer to the lands she had worked to protect. In her free time, Lindsay enjoys hiking, snowshoeing and distance running.

Sarah Spears, Policy and Outreach Associate

SarahSarah joined the ACLU as a Program Fellow in June 2013 after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Colorado College and became Policy and Outreach Associate in July 2014. She is responsible for researching select legal, policy, and legislative issues while providing ongoing support for the development and communications departments. She is currently engaged in academic research studying open transgender service in the US military and expects to publish a series of related papers in the near future. Having always had a strong passion for social justice, Sarah is thrilled to join the ACLU in protecting civil rights and civil liberties for all.

Rebecca T. Wallace, Staff Attorney

Rebecca T. Wallace was hired as staff attorney at the ACLU of Colorado in August 2010. Rebecca had previously served on the organization’s Board of Directors and was a member of the Legal Panel. Prior to accepting her position at the ACLU, Rebecca was an attorney at the civil rights law firm of KILLMER, LANE & NEWMAN, LLP, where she devoted her practice to vindicating the rights of the underdog. Rebecca’s work at the firm was twice recognized by the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, most recently as co-recipient of the Case of the Year Award for Hall v. Zavaras, holding a prison guard and the Colorado Department of Corrections responsible for the sexual assault of a female prisoner. In September 2010, LAW WEEK recognized Rebecca as one of Colorado’s Up and Coming Lawyers.