The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was founded in 1920, and the organization has been chosen to lead thousands of civil rights issues since being formed. When citizens of the United States feel as though their civil rights have been violated, there needs to be an advocacy group that will stand with them on the side of the law regardless of the stand on the issue, or matter. Read more: Michael Larcey | Crunchbase and Michael Larcey | Twitter
The ACLU remains impartial to the beliefs of an individual, but also remains steadfast on the laws governing a person’s beliefs. This type of advocacy produces the fairness that citizens need to protect themselves against injustices, or even mistakes that can occur within a free and democratic society.
The ACLU believes that as an imperfect society, there will be misinterpretations of the U.S. Constitution, but the principle of law must remain at the cornerstone of the basis for protecting equal rights for all Americans. The ACLU has taken a stand on issues that are not always agreed upon within society, but the organization has fought hard for a person’s protection under the constitution.
The leadership within the non-profit organization consists of 80 Board of Directors which include members who represent the ACLU through state affiliates and charters. With funding that reaches $100 million annually, 50 percent comes from grants, 24 percent comes from membership dues also referred to as donations, and the remaining funding is predominantly considered as donated legal services, or bequests. The average member donation is $50 per individual on an annual basis. The fundraising efforts by the ACLU typically amount to less than 10 percent of the organizations operating budget.
The Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund was founded in 2007 with a donation of $2 million by its founders Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin. The organization was formed as a resource for the communities within the state of Arizona. Creating the fund has built an enormous platform for individuals to become informed of their civil rights and becoming aware where they stand with regards to changes within the law pertaining to them as an individual. The Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund has a firm alliance with members who are seeking awareness of the Mexican border, and the organization has remained steadfast in providing those resources to the community.
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin have made it their mission to bring awareness to the public after the victory of their case that was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The case stemmed from an injustice of the First Amendment right as journalists of the News Times in Arizona. They both have committed their resources and efforts to bridging the gap between the governments understanding of the constitution and the civil rights afforded to each citizen.
While there are many organizations that contribute to society, the ACLU has provided a standard that has stood the test, for well-over a century. The organization paved the way for others to bring forth a complete understanding of the importance of protecting civil liberties.