ACLU Freedom Agenda

Visit our Legislative Priorities page for more information, including bill numbers and fact sheets.

Read our tips on how to advocate effectively at your legislators’ town halls.

Have new threats to civil rights and liberties made you more worried—yet more determined—than ever before?

If so, we offer the ACLU Freedom Agenda for Massachusetts. It’s our plan for shoring up existing protections in the Bay State, and moving freedom forward—both locally and nationally. This isn’t a time for business as usual.

The 2016 Presidential Election unleashed forces of racism, sexism, anti-immigrant sentiment, and authoritarianism that have been simmering beneath the surface of American politics.

Shannon Erwin holds up a pocket Constitution. Photo by Betsy Schneider.Fortunately, when threats to liberty are greatest, the people of Massachusetts rise to the challenge. The ACLU Freedom Agenda is a blueprint for action in our communities, the Massachusetts legislature, the courts and Congress to ensure that hard-won civil rights and liberties, in areas such as these below, are not lost on our watch.

 

Fundamental Freedoms: Speech, Religion & Privacy

Prevent discriminatory registration systems, such as the Muslim registry called for by President Trump. Protect First Amendment activity—speech, association, and worship—from government tracking. Update legal protections from searches and seizures to make sure they keep pace with technology. Prevent state and local government agencies from improperly sharing sensitive information about Massachusetts residents with federal law enforcement agencies.

Women’s Equality & Reproductive Freedom

Allie Tuffour holds up a pocket Constitution. Photo by Betsy Schneider.Ensure women’s economic equality and reproductive freedom, including consistent, affordable, appropriate preventive care in Massachusetts, regardless of what happens to the Affordable Care Act.

LGBTQ Equality

Defend the civil and human rights of people regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.

 

Defense of Immigrants

Limit state and local involvement in federal immigration enforcement, roundups and raids. Protect the “dreamers” who came to this country as children, and guarantee their safety and full, productive participation in American life.

Smart Justice

End the criminal justice system’s dependence on incarceration and instead implement opportunities for rehabilitation, diversion and community re-entry throughout the criminal justice process, from arrest to sentencing to release. Learn more.

Open Government

A man holds up a pocket Constitution. Photo by Betsy Schneider.Ensure robust public access to information about key issues to inform future policymaking.

Democracy

Increase voter engagement in the democratic process by making voter registration easier and more efficient and ensuring meaningful, unimpeded ballot access.

 

Massachusetts has a unique and critical role to play at home and for the nation. We are the birthplace of the American Revolution. Our state constitution was written by John Adams, and served as a model for the US Constitution. And we are one of only a handful of states that resoundingly rejected divisive proposals put forth by Donald Trump as a candidate. We have a deep obligation to ensure that Massachusetts remains a free state—and to lead the way in ensuring that America remains a free nation.

 

 

Read more about the ACLU Freedom Agenda for Massachusetts in Commonwealth Magazine.

Photos by Betsy Schneider

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