On my last day at the ACLU of Colorado, I want to express my gratitude for the opportunity to have led this essential, impactful organization for the last 7 ½ years. I had no idea I would be leaving in the middle of a pandemic, but even this crisis illustrates the critical work of the ACLU, where we have sought to reduce immediately the crowding of people in jails, prisons, and detention centers, protecting people’s rights along with public health simultaneously.
As the current crisis evolves, and with the 2020 elections looming, we are sure to see many more short-term and long-term civil rights and civil liberties issues, including attacks on reproductive rights, privacy, and immigrants’ rights, not to mention the fundamental health and structures of our democracy. As the ACLU of Colorado responds, you will be in good hands. Deputy Director Stephen Meswarb will be our Interim Executive Director during the executive search process over the next several months. Our Communications team led by Director of Communications Vanessa Michel will be more important than ever as we do more work remotely and digitally during the pandemic. Our Legal Director Mark Silverstein, Public Policy Director Denise Maes, and Campaigns Director Delana Maynes continue to lead their departments to advance our work in the courts, in the legislature and policy world, and in community action and voter engagement. Director of Philanthropy Rachel Pryor-Lease will lead our efforts to bring in the funds we will need more than ever, and Director of Operations Caryn Osterman will keep our logistics and technology on track even when we must work from our homes.
After today, if you have questions appropriate for the Executive Director, or if you want to know how to reach me personally, please contact Stephen at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your own commitment and support for the ACLU of Colorado. We are here to lift up the rights, voices, and lives of all people in Colorado, not only for the sake of a privileged few, but centering those most publicly invisible, most likely to be forgotten, most hurting and unheard. Justice, freedom, rights, compassion and belonging must be for all.