Colorado Rights Blog

ACLU of Colorado By: ACLU of Colorado 2.14.2013

Our 2013 Annual Membership Meeting was a great success!

On Saturday, Feburary 9th, over 100 ACLU of Colorado members came together for our annual membership meeting. Louise Melling, Deputy Legal Director of the ACLU and the Director of its Center for Liberty, spoke about increasing attempts to use religion to discriminate and how best to respond to such attempts, eliciting several thought-provoking questions from attendees.

In addition, at the meeting we recognized the valuable work of two outsanding Colorado civil liberties leaders: 2012 Volunteer of the Year Award recipient John P. Scott and 2012 Civil Rights in Action Youth Award recipient AJUA (Asociación de Jóvenes Unidos en Acción: Association of Youth United in Action).

Read about John's tireless work on behalf of civil liberties. 

Read about AJUA's impressive work on behalf of undocumented students in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Thanks to all who were able to join us, and a big thank you to our event sponsors Heizer Paul Grueskin LLP!


Operations Manager Caryn Osterman with Volunteer of the Year Award recipient John P. Scott. 


Brendan Greene of CIRC and Staff Attorney Rebecca T. Wallace with AJUA representatives.



Deputy Director Stephen Meswarb, former ACLU-CO Executive Director Dorothy Davidson, ACLU National Deputy Director Louise Melling, and Legal Director Mark Silverstein


Alex Alvarado of AJUA with Dick Hershcopf, sponsor of the Richard Hershcopf Grant presented to AJUA in recognition of their ongoing work.


The Hershcopf family, generous sponsors of the Richard Hershcopf Grant.


Executive Director Nathan Woodliff-Stanley, Board Member Gwen Young, and Staff Attorney Rebecca T. Wallace.


Board Member and Boulder Chapter Chair Judd Golden and Board Member Gwen Young with an ACLU supporter.



  • 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. 

  • Ronald Johnson is pre-diabetic, suffers from asthma and high blood pressure, and regularly uses an inhaler to breathe. His age and respiratory ailments put him at risk of serious illness and death if he contracts COVID-19. With over hundreds of active cases in Colorado’s prisons, his family fears he will not make it out alive. His daughter, Amber, says, “In prison, he can’t protect himself and he can’t social distance. My deep fear is that my dad will die in prison. That is an awful, traumatic reality to consider. My chest is tight just thinking about how quickly it spreads and how vulnerable he is.”

    Governor Hickenlooper shortened his sentence following testimony from family, friends and correctional officers advocating for his early release. Yet, he is still eight years away from parole. While he remains in prison, COVID-19 continues to spread. Ronald’s three siblings, four children and four grandchildren are desperate for his release.

    Read more about Ronald Johnson and other at-risk incarcerated people.

  • Tuesday Olson knew her pregnancy was in trouble and tried to access hospital care as soon as possible. But there was a problem: she was in jail. This is her story.
  • It’s time to end the death penalty in Colorado. Family members who lost loved ones to murder speak out against an unjust and broken system.