ACLU Hosts First-Ever Mobilization Conference

February 24, 2007

SAN DIEGO – The American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego & Imperial Counties presents its first-ever Membership Conference: Mobilization and Celebration and will conduct four civil liberties workshops on Saturday, February 24, 2007 from 3:00 to 7:30 the California Western School of Law.

The ACLU affiliate is fundamentally augmenting the agenda of its annual business meeting to include numerous opportunities for the community to become informed about current critical civil liberties threats and to provide them with the tools and resources to do something concrete to help restore our damaged rights. Rather than merely providing oral reports to area members and interested community members, the affiliate is holding

  • 2 sets of concurrent workshops on hot civil liberties topics (topics below)
  • Art exhibit and silent auction with works from some of the region’s pre-eminent artists (some of whom have seen their works censored)
  • Legislative action center, with tools and resources to contact legislators, write letters to the editor and op-ed pieces, and background materials to take home
  • Book Premier! Actor (from M*A*S*H) and author Mike Farrell will be launching his new book, Just Call Me Mike: A Journey to Actor and Activist, at the ACLU conference! [You can purchase Mike’s book directly from the ACLU; all proceeds go to support our civil liberties work.]
  • Book signings by other prominent panelists, including National Lawyer Guild President Marjorie Cohn, Tariq Khamisa Foundation president Azim Khamisa, and anti-death penalty acvitist and minister Billy Neal Moore
  • Reception and Civil Libertarian Awards

The ACLU is especially excited about organizing interactive panels on four key civil liberties issues of the day:

  • An Eye for an Eye? Revisiting the Death Penalty in the 21st Century features three speakers from very different perspectives who now advocate against the death penalty: Mike Farrell, Azim Khamisa, who lost his son to random gang violence, and Billy Neal Moore, a former death row inmate
  • Living on the Border: Understanding Immigrants’ Rights from Legal and Humanitarian Perspectives with the nationally syndicated columnist from the Washington Post Writers Group and immigration rights expert, Ruben Navarrette Jr., a sergeant from the Chula Vista Police Department, and immigration attorney Lilia Velasquez
  • Presidential Abuse of Power Debate between Marjorie Cohn, president of the National Lawyers Guild, and author of numerous books and articles challenging the expansion of executive power, and USD School of Law Professor Michael Ramsey, who clerked for US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia before starting his career as an attorney and professor of law
  • Our Bodies, Ourselves: The Right to Privacy in Reproductive, End of Life, and Treatment Decisions with the chair of the Planned Parenthood board of directors and former head of Kaiser’s OB/GYN, Dr. David Preskill and Dr. Stephen Jamison, the California coordinator of Compassionate Choices
  • Marti Emerald, KGTV Channel 10’s Troubleshooter will serve as MC

2:00 pm
Registration begins
3:00 – 4:10
Concurrent Workshops: Immigrants’ Rights and Privacy Rights
4:20 – 5:30
Concurrent Workshops: Death Penalty and Presidential Abuse of Power
5:30 – 6:30
Reception / Art Exhibit / Silent Auction / Legislative Action Center /
Mike Farrell’s Book Signing: My Name is Mike: A Journey to Actor and Activist
6:45 – 7:15
Keynote Address with Mike Farrell
7:30 pm
Conference adjourns

“We have seen a tremendous growth in our membership in the last five years,” said Kevin M. Keenan, Executive Director of the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties, “and have heard from our members that they want more opportunities to be active in restoring our civil liberties.” Keenan said that was the inspiration for creating the series of workshops on some of the era’s most controversial topics. “The ACLU is eager to grow even stronger in San Diego and Imperial, and we are thrilled that there is such a vibrancy in our community today.”

The keynote speaker is Mike Farrell, former actor, who starred for eight years as Captain B.J. Hunnicutt on M*A*S*H. He has spent more than 20 years as a human rights and political activist, and is an outspoken critic of the death penalty. Mike is president of the Death Penalty Focus, a group dedicated to educating the country about the realities of the death penalty and finding a more humane way of justice. The ACLU is especially honored that Mike will be premiering his new book, My Name is Mike: A Journey to Actor and Activist, at the conference.

For more information or to register online, visit the ACLU website or write to us with your questions or comments.