With Thanksgiving just a few short days away this is the season of giving. There are many, many great non-profits out there to give to that do tremendous work and are in need of donations.
In addition to Thanksgiving, December 9, is Colorado Gives Day which seeks to strengthen the state’s non-profits through online giving and donations.
Legal non-profits need help. No matter the cause they fight for our rights, liberties, and values. This can be free speech rights, labor rights, gun rights, privacy rights, religious freedoms, equality rights, etc. The law affects every single one of us and we as Americans cherish our rights under the law. Legal non-profits often times are the ones who stand up for the rights we hold sacred.
Since this is a legal blog focusing on Colorado, I want to mention a few non-profits doing amazing legal work in Colorado and that would really appreciate a donation. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list. There are many other fantastic legal non-profits in Colorado who deserve donations. These are just a few who stand out to me.
Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition
This group works to support disability rights. In addition to litigation, the organization also counsels for-profit and not-for-profit businesses on disability issues. I have been impressed with their work in court. One of their lawsuits they are currently working on is suing RTD (Regional Transportation District) over wheelchair accessibility on the lightrail. The claim is wheelchairs users do not have enough room to manauver on lightrail trains in Denver.
I have several cases and pleadings argued by CCDC (Colorado Cross-Disability) attorneys and they are a very impressive.
American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado
This state chapter is Colorado’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. A multi-pronged organization, it’s work is directed in three different areas: litigation, public policy and legislation, and public education.
An interesting case that settled before going to court, recently argued by the Colorado ACLU is Valdez v. Arapahoe Co. Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s office was called out to help with a domestic disturbance. Ms. Claudia Valdez was arrested and taken to jail by the Arapahoe County Sheriff. The next day her husband admitted he was the aggressor, and a judge ordered Ms. Valdez’s release. Rather than release her, the Sheriff detained her on an immigration detainer from the federal government. Immigrations detainers are used when the federal government needs up to five extra days to decide whether to take that person into federal custody for a possible immigration violation.
Deportation proceedings are civil, not criminal, cases. Remaining in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws is not a crime. The Arapahoe County Sheriff eventually settled. Ms. Valdez has lived in Colorado for 15 years, has three U.S. citizen children and no criminal record, yet she faces deportation proceedings as a result of her arrest and detention in 2012.
Colorado Freedom Of Information Coalition
This group works for transparency of state and local governments in Colorado by promoting freedom of the press, open courts and open access to government records and meetings. The resource page of the website is an invaluable tool for the public to learn how to access information about their government.
Colorado Prison Law Project
This is a group that I am not too familiar with, but I really like their mission fighting for prisoner rights. Just because someone is being punished for crimes they have committed, does not mean they have to endure abuse by correctional officers, live in inhumane conditions, etc. They are working on some pretty interesting cases, check them out!
There are many more legal non-profits than the ones I listed. They all need help to continue doing the work they do. Please contribute to them any way that you can, so they can continue to stand up for all of our rights.