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Talking Liberties with the ACLU of Illinois
35 minutes | 5 days ago
Episode 30: The War on Drugs & Reducing Barriers to Recovery
From 2016 to 2018, 20,000 people in Illinois were convicted of felonies for possessing small amounts of drugs, and 7,500 were imprisoned. On this episode of Talking Liberties, we are joined by a panel of experts and survivors to discuss why it is time to unwind the War on Drugs and install a public health approach to reducing the harms associated with drug use. We are joined by Lake County Sheriff John Idleberg, Elizabeth Cruz with the Women's Justice Institute, Alex Mathiesen with Live4Lali, and Dr. Juleigh Konchak with the Cook County Public Health Department. You can also learn more about HB 3447 and take action at aclu-il.org/en/legislation/reducing-barriers-to-recovery.
34 minutes | a month ago
Episode 29: 2021 Legislative Agenda in Springfield
We are joined by ACLU of Illinois Advocacy and Intergovernmental Affairs Director Khadine Bennett to talk through the initiatives we are advancing in Springfield in 2021, including ending qualified immunity, reforming drug sentencing and protecting personal privacy, among other issues.
28 minutes | a month ago
Episode 28: How to Make Your Voice Heard in Springfield
Passionate about a public or legislative issue that affects you, your family, or friends? Looking to make your voice heard with the most impact? We have got you covered! This episode, we are joined by ACLU of Illinois Advocacy Associate Chelsea Diaz to talk through the 'how-to's' on the best ways to reach your state legislators, effective organizing in Springfield, how a bill becomes a law in Illinois, and more.
31 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 27: "The Only People It Really Affects Are The People It Hurts"
Human Rights Watch and the ACLU of Illinois recently collaborated on a report - "The Only People It Really Affects Are the People It Hurts: The Human Rights Impacts of Parental Notice of Abortion in Illinois” -which concluded that PNA is dangerous for youth in the state, violates their human rights, and threatens their health and safety. We speak with Margaret Wurth from Human Rights Watch and Davina DiPaolo from ACLU of Illinois to discuss the report and why Illinois state legislators need to act swiftly to repeal this harmful law.
48 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 26: Celebrating 100 Years of the ACLU
For a century, the American Civil Liberties Union has fought to keep Americans in touch with the founding values of the Constitution. In this episode of Talking Liberties, we speak with Ellis Cose, the author who literally wrote the book on the subject - Democracy, If We Can Keep It: The ACLU’s 100-Year Fight for Rights in America, who takes us through the series of monumental events and decisions that forged the ACLU into the organization it is today.
26 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 25: The Fight to Protect Transgender Rights
As #TransgenderAwarenessWeek comes to a close, we sat down with ACLU of Illinois LGBTQ and HIV Project Director John Knight to look at the big picture regarding the fight for transgender rights here at home and across the country. We also discuss John's work representing Aimee Stephens, who was part of a landmark Supreme Court decision this year that clearly determined it discrimination under federal civil rights statutes to fire someone because they are transgender.
33 minutes | 7 months ago
Episode 24: Voting in the 2020 Election
Got questions about voting in Illinois ahead of November 3rd? We've got answers! In this episode, we speak with Matt Dietrich, Public Information Officer at the Illinois State Board of Elections, and Michelle Hernandez, ACLU of Illinois Advocacy Associate, to discuss changes to election laws in 2020, early voting, voting by mail, voting in jails or with a record, and much more.
30 minutes | 7 months ago
Episode 23: Prisons Are Failing Transgender People
Transgender people are too often exposed to horrific abuse in prison, facing physical and sexual assault at much higher rates than other prisoners. And experts recognize that denying someone the health care they need for gender dysphoria causes transgender people serious and lasting harm. For this episode, we speak with Taylor Brown, staff attorney with ACLU National, about a new lawsuit filed on behalf of Cristina Nichole Iglesias, who has been denied critical medical care and routinely abused during her time housed in federal corrections facilities for men, as well as Ghirlandi Guidetti, staff attorney with the ACLU of Illinois, about our ongoing litigation to protect transgender people in prisons in Illinois.
14 minutes | 8 months ago
Episode 22: Protecting the Post Office
The U.S. Postal Service is a pillar of our democracy - and it's currently under siege. Protecting our right to vote-by-mail will be essential this November, as millions of Americans from all 50 states use this option as the safest way to vote during the COVID-19 crisis. We are joined by U.S. Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, who talks to us about questioning Postmaster General Louis DeJoy this week as a member of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and what we can do to protect the U.S. Post Office.
31 minutes | 10 months ago
Episode 21: Reimagining Policing in Illinois
Americans are reimagining our fundamental notions about policing, especially in response to the continued killings of Black and Brown people by police officers. For too long, we have prioritized policing over other community resources. We speak with ACLU of Illinois Police Practices Staff Attorney Elizabeth Jordan about the steps we can take to reimagine how policing works and how we can continue to hold officers accountable for their actions.
28 minutes | a year ago
Episode 20: Civil Liberties During the Pandemic
Talking Liberties with the ACLU of Illinois returns with our 20th episode, recording from our own homes during the COVID-19 outbreak. We speak with our Executive Director Colleen Connell about how the pandemic has touched all areas of our work - including reproductive rights, people in prisons, law enforcement, and more - and how we can work together to protect our civil liberties during this unprecedented emergency.
83 minutes | a year ago
Episode 19: Live at the Cook County State's Attorney Candidate Forum
Welcome to a bonus episode of Talking Liberties. On Saturday, February 29th, the ACLU hosted a candidate’s forum for the office of Cook County State’s Attorney. We were pleased to be joined by Bill Conway, former Chicago City Alderman Bob Fioretti, and current Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. We bring you that discussion in full here. We also sent questionnaires to the candidates running, asking each to share their positions on crucial civil liberties issues. You can read their responses on our website – aclu-il.org - before you vote on March 17th.
34 minutes | a year ago
Episode 18: Fired for Being Transgender
More than one in four transgender people have lost a job due to bias, and more than three-fourths have experienced some form of workplace discrimination. Refusal to hire, privacy violations, harassment, and even physical and sexual violence on the job are common occurrences, and are experienced at even higher rates by transgender people of color. Our client Judi Brown, an African-American transgender woman, was fired from national convenience store chain Circle K after she complained about the harassment and discrimination she experienced. Judi joins us to discuss her experience - we also speak with her lawyer, ACLU of Illinois Staff Attorney Carolyn Wald, about the many challenges facing transgender employees in our state and across the country.
32 minutes | a year ago
Episode 17: Enforcing the TRUST Act
In 2017, the Illinois legislature passed the TRUST Act, which prohibits local law enforcement from holding a person based on a “detainer” issued by immigration authorities unless presented with a signed judicial warrant. However, three men recently filed lawsuits after they were arrested for minor traffic infractions and detained by the Sheriffs in Ogle and Stephenson Counties until federal immigration authorities came to pick them up, even after they already had posted bond. On this episode, we speak with Mony Ruiz-Velasco, Executive Director of PASO – West Suburban Action Project, and ACLU of IL Immigrant Rights’ Attorney Aarón Siebert-Llera about these lawsuits and a new campaign to ensure uniform enforcement of the TRUST Act across Illinois.
26 minutes | 2 years ago
Episode 16: Protecting Your Biometric Information
Concerns about protecting your personal information online continue to grow, especially from its use by corporations and the government. Emerging technologies – including facial recognition and mobile fingerprinting software – are making our ability to protect our digital privacy more difficult than ever, if not impossible. On this episode, we speak with Adam Schwartz, Senior Staff Attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, about what we can do to shield ourselves from invasive surveillance technology, as well as the importance of the groundbreaking Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act.
18 minutes | 2 years ago
Episode 15: Transgender Students Belong
Last week, School District 211 announced it was proposing a new policy that would grant transgender students unrestricted access to the locker room of the student's gender identity and end the use of privacy stalls. This is a long-deserved victory for our clients Student A, Nova Maday, and every student who is transgender who has ever walked the halls of a D211 high school. In a special edition of TALKING LIBERTIES, we speak with Nova about her experience and what she hopes this means for the future.
32 minutes | 2 years ago
Episode 14: Can Springfield Protect Civil Liberties?
It was a marathon legislative session in Springfield this Spring, culminating in the passage of several important civil liberties protections including the Reproductive Health Act. ACLU of IL Director of Advocacy and Intergovernmental Affairs Khadine Bennett joins us this episode to fill us in on the backstories of this session and where legislators can go from here to better protect our freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution.
38 minutes | 2 years ago
Episode 13: Supreme Court Roundup - The Census
In a special crossover episode recorded with Tom Moss of the Indivisible Chicago podcast, we talk through the Supreme Court's most recent decisions with ACLU National Legal Director David Cole, including the ACLU's recent victory in keeping a citizenship question off the 2020 Census.
32 minutes | 2 years ago
Episode 12: The Price of Cash Bond
Throughout Illinois and across our country, many people are held in jail awaiting trial simply because they are unable to afford the cash bond for their release. The use of these cash bonds also increases racial disparities in the criminal system, as those detained pretrial are more likely to be convicted and receive longer sentences. In this episode, we are joined by Lavette Mayes - who was separated from her children, lost her small business, and spent 14 months in jail because she couldn't post bail - and who was featured in an ACLU animated short that illustrated her story. We are also joined by Sharlyn Grace, Executive Director of the Chicago Community Bond Fund, to discuss how we can reform this harmful system.
24 minutes | 2 years ago
Episode 11: Will Abortion Be Made Illegal in Illinois?
Headlines across the country are rife with reports of states adopting legislation to eliminate reproductive health care access for women, including the pernicious "heartbeat" abortion bans in Georgia and Ohio. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer recently warned that the new SCOTUS majority - installed by Donald Trump - are laying the groundwork to overturn Roe v. Wade. Does this mean that abortion could be made illegal in Illinois? This episode, we are joined by two guests to discuss the need to pass the Reproductive Health Act in Illinois, which is currently stalled in Springfield: RHA co-sponsor Illinois Representative Kelly Cassidy discusses why this legislation is so important to pass right now; and ACLU of IL Executive Director Colleen Connell returns to talk through the changes that could happen in Illinois if Roe is overturned, including 24-hour bans and women having to seek spousal consent for an abortion.
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