ACLU Dialog, Election and Pizza Night

Join other members of the ACLU of Northern California for an open discussion of the civil liberties issues which affect Sonoma County and what we can do about them.

These issues include criminal justice, economic justice, education equity, free speech, immigrants’ rights, LBGT equality, privacy, racial justice reproductive justice, tech and civil liberties and voting rights.
The event will take place on

Tuesday January 19, 2016 at 7 p.m. at the
Peace and Justice Center of Sonoma County,
467 Sebastopol Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95401.

New local chapter board members will be elected at this event. Pizza will be served.

Local Board Members Wanted

Join the board of the Sonoma County chapter of the ACLU of Northern California. Apply online at https://www.aclunc.org/about/chapters/join-chapter-board. Application deadline is November 30, 2015.


ACLU Sonoma County Summer 2015 Newsletter

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Thank you to all who made possible the ACLU of Sonoma County’s 2015 Awards Celebration & Luncheon on May 3, 2015, at the Flamingo Hotel, Santa Rosa.

John BurrisKeynote Speaker: John L. Burris, Civil Rights Attorney, spoke on the topic of “Litigating Cases to Bring About Social Change.”

Jack Green Civil Liberties Award Honorees: Elbert ‘Big Man’ Howard & Carole Hyams-Howard

Mario Savio Student Activist Award Honoree: Sandy Espino-Valenciano
Flamingo Hotel
2777 4th St, Santa Rosa CA 95405


ACLU of Sonoma County Newsletter Winter 2015

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Click here to view PDF of the Newsletter


ACLU of Sonoma County Newsletter Summer 2014

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Click here to view PDF of ACLU Sonoma County Newsletter Summer 2014


ACLU Sonoma County Position on Civilian Review Board

1. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, as overseen by the Board of Supervisors, needs to take a new approach to “community policing” — one in which the community feels respected and protected by law enforcement, not harassed and threatened.

2. There should be a thorough reassessment of the use of deadly force by law enforcement agencies across Sonoma County, focusing on policies, training of officers and evaluation of their conduct. While officer safety is important, the emphasis should be on protecting the public.

3. There should be an immediate independent review of all the facts in the fatal shooting of Andy Lopez on Oct. 22, as well as full public disclosure of results of all investigations.

4. We call on the U.S. Civil Rights Commission to return to Sonoma County to investigate police killings since 1998.

5. We support establishment of a countywide Civilian Review Board, with provisions stated below.

6. We call for installation of body cams and patrol car cameras for all police agencies in Sonoma County, with the necessary privacy provisions.

7. We support conversion of the open space at Moorland and West Robles avenues into the Andy Lopez Memorial Park.


1. INDEPENDENCE: The power to conduct hearings, subpoena witnesses who testify under oath and report findings and recommendations to the public.

2. INVESTIGATORY POWER: The authority to independently investigate incidents and issue findings on complaints.

3. MANDATORY POLICE COOPERATION: Complete access to police witnesses and documents through legal mandate or subpoena power.

4. ADEQUATE FUNDING: Should not be a lower budget priority than police internal affairs.

5. HEARINGS: Essential for solving credibility questions and enhancing public confidence in process.

6. REFLECT COMMUNITY DIVERSITY: Board & staff should be broadly representative of the community it serves.

7. POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS: Citizen oversight can spot problem policies and provide a forum for developing reform.

8. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Public statistical reports can detail trends in allegations, and early warning systems can identify officers who are subjects of unusually numerous complaints.

9. SEPARATE OFFICES: Should be housed away from police headquarters to maintain independence and credibility with public.

10. DISCIPLINARY ROLE: Board findings should be considered in determining appropriate disciplinary action.

11. ADEQUATE TRAINING AND EXPERTISE: To ensure that Board members are knowledgeable about proper police practices, conduct meaningful investigations and can make informed recommendations