Colorado Rights Blog

ACLU of Colorado By: ACLU of Colorado 6.9.2015

ACLU of Colorado Remembers Martha Sattler

It is with a very heavy heart that we at the ACLU of Colorado mark the passing on Sunday, June 7, of Martha Sattler, a lifelong champion of civil rights and civil liberties whose selfless dedication to justice, in large measure, made our work possible.

Martha Sattler croppedMartha’s contributions to the ACLU of Colorado were immense and indispensable. She served multiple terms on the Board of Directors, worked as both Intake Director and Associate Director, organized volunteer and fundraising events, and represented Cuban refugees before INS panels on behalf of the ACLU.  As chair of the Amicus fundraising campaign, Martha helped to raise more charitable contributions for the ACLU of Colorado than any other volunteer in the history of our organization.

In addition to her work for the ACLU, Martha volunteered for many other organizations.  Among them was Project Safeguard, where she advocated for battered women in restraining order hearings, and Community Shares, a grassroots organization that supports local investment in a variety of Colorado non-profits.  She also served on the Board of Directors for Summer Scholars, a literacy program for at-risk children, and she worked on special education issues at the Legal Center, which assists people with disabilities.

In 2000, Martha received the Martha Radetsky Award in recognition of decades of service to the ACLU of Colorado and the cause of civil liberties.  In receiving the award, she said, “The ACLU’s mission of defending and expanding the rights that the Constitution guarantees citizens is the driving force in devoting my time and energy to the ACLU.”  Not only did the ACLU benefit immensely from Martha’s time and energy, but all who met and worked with her were forever changed by her drive, her commitment, and her wry sense of humor.

We send our heartfelt condolences to Martha’s husband Bruce, himself an essential part of the ACLU of Colorado family as a long-time board member, contributor, leader, and volunteer. While we are all saddened by Martha’s passing, we know that her legacy will live on in the hearts of all who were touched by her extraordinary life.

At Martha’s insistence, there will be no memorial service. The Sattler family has generously requested that contributions in memory of Martha be made to the ACLU of Colorado.  Memorial contributions can be made at:



  • Cedric Watkins is a father, uncle, entrepreneur-in-training, and a vital community pillar for many others. While behind bars, he has tirelessly devoted himself to serving his peers and his community. He developed gang disaffiliation programs for other incarcerated individuals and is currently involved with Defy Ventures. He sends letters and calls his daughter as much as he can.

    Cedric is currently in prison at Sterling Correctional Facility. He was convicted of aggravated robbery, burglary, kidnapping, theft and sentenced to 80 years; no one was seriously injured or killed. For comparison, a person convicted of second-degree murder in Colorado faces a maximum sentence of 48 years. Cedric has already served 20 years and has fully rehabilitated during that time.

    It’s time to bring Cedric home: Redemption is real. Clemency is compassion.

  • On November 21, 2016, 13 Aurora police officers responded to a simple noise complaint at Alberto Torres’s home. As happens all too often, Aurora police officers escalated this minor issue into a brutal affair. They beat Mr. Torres solely because he delayed exiting his garage to ask his wife to interpret for him. With that beating, the lives of Mr. Torres and every member of his family were changed and he has yet to recover. ACLU of Colorado fought to obtain justice for Mr. Torres, and Aurora has now paid him $285,000. But money is not justice, and the brutality of the Aurora Police Department against people of color has continued unabated.

    It doesn’t have to be this way.

    Imagine, if instead of 13 officers being dispatched to Mr. Torres’s home for a noise complaint, the City of Aurora sent a civilian-led response team to check on his welfare and ask that he and his friends lower their sound, resulting in a non-violent solution to a minor issue?

    ACLU Settles Case With Aurora After Police Brutalize and Unlawfully Arrest Alberto Torres

  • Hope is a discipline. It’s a commitment that together, we can create a more perfect union. We won’t rest until we fulfill the promise of equal rights for ALL people in the United States.

    Join us in our fight to fulfill this promise and move forward with hope by donating to the ACLU of Colorado. Your donation supports the ACLU’s strengths that make our work effective and collaborative.

    Donate now at

  • Anthony Martinez is 84-years-old and suffering from renal failure, as well as other serious medical conditions including dementia. He is currently incarcerated in the Sterling Correctional Facility, site of one of Colorado’s largest COVID-19 outbreaks with almost 600 active COVID-19 cases. He and his family are understandably terrified that he will catch the virus and die.

    In the midst of this public health crisis, incarcerated people as vulnerable as Anthony, could and should be immediately released to safely live out their remaining years with family.

    Read more about Anthony Martinez and other at-risk incarcerated people.