2017 kept us on our toes and brought many new challenges for the ACLUNV staff and supporters. As soon as the inauguration ended, President Trump ushered in discriminatory policies against multiple minority communities. With his first Muslim Ban, we rallied at Nevada’s major airports to assist families caught up in the mess and tell the administration that we will not tolerate the hate they were sowing. We appeared at numerous community events to educate nervous constituents about standing up for their rights.

Then, starting in February, we successfully fought for the civil rights and liberties of all Nevadans at the 2017 Legislature, securing wins for women, LGBTQ youth, and juveniles in the criminal justice system. We tracked over 250 bills, providing testimony and educational materials, recruited volunteer speakers, and negotiated with opponents on laws we didn’t support. We defeated the discriminatory voucher bill. We had hoped to update Nevada’s public records law with our Silver State Sunshine Act, but we will try again in 2019.

We took on a number of important cases over the last year. We sued the state of Nevada over the deficient, unconstitutional public defense system in 11 rural counties, and we challenged an anti-immigrant ballot petition that would separate families and imperil public safety.

When the White House announced it was going to sunset the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the ACLU of Nevada organized public information meetings and assisted eligible Dreamers with their DACA applications. We also advocated for police accountability by expanding the state body camera law, and urging Clark County to update its Use of Force Matrix, and for transgender-inclusive school policies in Clark County.

While we faced new and overwhelming challenges in 2017, we managed to achieve meaningful changes in public policy, and defend the rights of Nevadans throughout the state. None of these wins would be possible without the contributions of our membership and supporters, which quadrupled to meet these new challenges. We look forward to continuing our fights against discriminatory policies no matter who initiates them.