July 16, 2020

Ways to Stay Engaged While You Stay Home: Power to the Polls, ACLU of Louisiana

Young woman working from home

During these unprecedented times, ACS continues to provide a virtual forum for our network to engage and work toward a Constitution that is truly “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Here are some ways to help you stay engaged while in-person events are canceled. Do you have ideas we should include in future editions? Let us know by emailing info@acslaw.org

Volunteer to be a Poll Worker: ACS is partnering with Power the Polls, a nonpartisan coalition of nonprofits and businesses interested in protecting civic engagement. Poll workers are needed to make sure elections run smoothly and everyone’s vote is counted. If you are interested in becoming a poll worker, or working to recruit poll workers, visit the Power to the Polls website here!

In-House Pro Bono Lawyers Needed for Criminal Justice Project: The ACLU of Louisiana (ACLU-LA) and Cohen & Gresser have partnered on an initiative to challenge racially discriminatory policing practices in Louisiana. Cohen & Gresser will represent individual plaintiffs in litigation with the goal of (i) incentivizing Louisiana police departments to alter their conduct; and (ii) building a record that shows the consequences of qualified immunity. Additional information about the ACLU-LA's initiative is available here and here. As part of the initiative, the ACLU-LA is looking for in-house counsel volunteers to conduct intake interviews with potential plaintiffs. Contact Ashley Erickson, aerickson@acslaw.org, for additional information about the opportunity or to be connected with the ACLU-LA team. 

Jim Crow Juries - Pro Bono Help Needed: The Jim Crow Juries Project is seeking pro bono lawyers to represent those in Louisiana prisons who seek relief after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Ramos v. Louisiana this term. That case struck down a Louisiana Jim Crow law that required courts to convict even when some jurors did not unanimously find that the prosecutors proved guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The law sought to silence black jurors and disproportionately impacted black defendants. Volunteers will co-counsel with local attorneys to draft and file post-conviction relief applications seeking retroactivity. Training guides, forms, and resources will be provided. No prior criminal law experience is required, and volunteers can be barred in any state. Volunteers should be prepared to volunteer to file at least five petitions. To volunteer, please email ACS Director of Network Advancement, Ashley Erickson, at aerickson@acslaw.org 

Healing in Action: If you have been engaging in direct action, or plan to, check out the Black Lives Matter: Healing in Action Toolkit. This toolkit was created to collate, condense and share the lessons BLM has learned in ensuring that direct actions are centered on healing justice.