A Call to Action: Freedom, Equality, and Justice for All

We live in uncertain times. The essential rights and freedoms that unite, protect, and empower us as Americans — those enshrined in the United States Constitution — are at greater risk now than they have been for decades.

Just last year, the constitutional right to abortion was struck down by extremists on the U.S. Supreme Court. Across the country, daily assaults on freedom of speech and expression take the form of book bans, drag show prohibitions, and silencing of dissent during public meetings. Rapid advances in technology threaten to create a total surveillance state. Cynical government officials are attempting to suppress voting rights, especially for Black and Brown Americans which, together with partisan gerrymandering, threatens democracy itself.

During this era of chaos and uncertainty, you can be sure of one thing: Your ACLU is fighting back — here in Massachusetts and nationwide. Please accept the attached ACLU of Massachusetts 2023 Action Report as a testament to our unwavering commitment to civil rights and liberties — and as a call to action.

We will never stop fighting for freedom and equality. And we need your support, both here in Massachusetts and across the nation. That is why every dollar you give is evenly split between our advocacy here in Massachusetts, and the ACLU’s work in all 50 states.

We will never stop fighting for freedom and equality. And we need your support, both here in Massachusetts and across the nation. That is why every dollar you give is evenly split between our advocacy here in Massachusetts, and the ACLU’s work in all 50 states.

Today, you can double your impact. A generous Massachusetts couple will match 100% of your gift, up to $50,000. To double your investment today, please go to www.aclum.org/match or send your gift in the enclosed reply envelope. As a reminder, your financial contribution to the ACLU Foundation is completely tax-deductible.

In a world of uncertainty, rest assured: The ACLU of Massachusetts is here to fight for freedom, equality, and justice for all.

In solidarity, and with gratitude, 

Carol Rose 

Executive Director, ACLU of Massachusetts  



→Door by door, the ACLU of Massachusetts Action Team engaged voters in the new BIPOC to the Ballot Box initiative.

The ACLU is challenging voter suppression laws and fighting for fair electoral maps, with dozens of voting rights and redistricting cases across the country and in the U.S. Supreme Court. Here in Massachusetts, the ACLU launched our new BIPOC to the Ballot Box initiative to engage voters in cities and towns with large and growing communities of color. This fall, the ACLU of Massachusetts Action Team had over 2,800 conversations with these voters to highlight local elections, turn out the vote, and lay the groundwork for 2024.



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→ACLU of Massachusetts Executive Director Carol Rose (center) joins leaders at a press conference following the mifepristone decision.

One month after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Massachusetts passed best-in-the-nation protections for patients, providers, and helpers seeking or providing abortion and gender-affirming care. To help people understand their rights under the new state law, the ACLU partnered with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, law firms, and other organizations to create and launch the Abortion Legal Hotline. The ACLU also helped train over 150 attorneys participating in the free hotline.

Then, after an unprecedented ruling from an anti-abortion judge in Texas, the ACLU mobilized to defend medication abortion. Our rapid response in Massachusetts included coordinating with Governor Healey and other state leaders to help secure access to mifepristone, briefing stakeholders about the implications of the case, and providing updated legal analysis for the Abortion Legal Hotline.



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Digital privacy protections are more important than ever, especially in light of efforts to criminalize reproductive and gender-affirming health care. Every day, data brokers buy and sell location information from our cellphones, revealing where we live, work, seek health care, and more. Anyone can buy this data — including anti-abortion extremists and bounty hunters — and use it to harm people. To stop this practice and protect our digital privacy, the ACLU of Massachusetts has launched a first-in-the-nation campaign to ban the sale of cellphone location data with a new piece of legislation called the Location Shield Act.



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→ACLU of Massachusetts Field Director Laura Rótolo (center) joins community leaders at the State House for bill signing.

After 20 years of advocacy, the ACLU helped to pass a historic bill permitting all qualified drivers to apply for a license, regardless of immigration status. Shortly thereafter, we defeated an effort to repeal the law at the ballot box. Our work didn’t stop there: The ACLU continues to bolster efforts to ensure the new law lives up to its promise through effective privacy regulations, public education, and outreach.



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→Small Town Pride participants express joy in community.

In the last few years, states have advanced a record number of bills attacking LGBTQ+ people — especially transgender youth. During the 2023 legislative session, the ACLU tracked over 500 anti-LGBTQ bills nationwide. Massachusetts has not been immune to attempts to remove LGBTQ people from public life: This year, a local select board unconstitutionally rescinded the permit for a local Pride celebration because it included a drag show — but an ACLU challenge ensured that North Brookfield’s Small Town Pride event could move forward as planned.

Some politicians and school boards are also making moves to ban books — predominately those by LGBTQ and Black authors — from public schools and libraries. This year, the ACLU pushed back against calls for book bans, including by sending a letter to Massachusetts schools to warn of this growing threat and praise officials for resisting censorship campaigns.



→Lynn Wencus shares her son's story in moving testimony at State House hearing. 

Public health crises require public health solutions — not punishment. In Massachusetts, the ACLU is working to ensure that state and local communities alike invest in proven public health solutions to the devastating opioid crisis. The ACLU of Massachusetts plays a key role in the Massachusetts for Overdose Prevention Centers coalition, a statewide group of major hospitals and providers, leading medical and public health groups, and other organizations committed to establishing such life-saving facilities in our state. Also, we continue to monitor areas like Mass. and Cass in Boston to ensure that the rights of unhoused people are not violated during encampment “sweeps.”




More than 100 years ago, the ACLU was founded with a commitment to defending the First Amendment and the right to free expression. Today, leaders and institutions across the political spectrum are trying to stifle dissent and silence views with which they disagree. This year, the ACLU of Massachusetts will launch our Free Expression Project to highlight pressing threats to free expression in the Commonwealth, to explain what we are doing to fight back, and to empower Massachusetts residents with resources about this fundamental right.



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A generous Massachusetts couple has committed to matching 100% of your gift, up to $50,000. That means your donation will go twice as far to expand access to the ballot box, protect reproductive freedom, ensure free expression, and defend all of our civil liberties both in the Commonwealth and across the country. To double your investment today, please visit www.aclum.org/match or send your gift in the enclosed reply envelope. Thank you for your commitment to the ACLU.