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.



  • 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. 

  • 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.