Tom Butt
  E-Mail Forum – 2017  
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  What is it the ACLU Doesn't Understand About Free Speech?
October 15, 2017

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) states, “For almost 100 years, the ACLU has worked to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States.”

It appears that the ACLU has moved from protecting individual rights and liberties, including free speech, to protecting the identities of scofflaw landlords who are violating a slew of laws in Richmond designed to protect renters as well as the safety of the community.

Just when I thought the outrage about hypocritical RPA activists Eli Moore and Claudia Jimenez cheating the City of Richmond had abated, and I was ready to move on to more pleasant topics, I received a Public Records Request from Yoel Y. Haile of the ACLU of Northern California for my documents, including email and Facebook posts, relating to Moore and Jimenez.

It seems the ACLU is concerned that I have targeted “Mr. Moore and Ms. Jimenez for exercising their constitutional rights to free speech.” You would think that if anybody understands the First Amendment and free speech, it would be the ACLU, but that apparently is not the case. Mr. Haile of the ACLU apparently believes the right to free speech applies to community activists but not to elected officials.

I have never taken any action to limit the right of Moore and Jimenez to speak freely, and it is clear that they have exercised those rights abundantly. And I totally support their right to do so. I would also request that the ACLU respect my rights under the First Amendment to call out people who are breaking the law in Richmond.

In accordance with the California Public Records Act, I have provided the ACLU with emails relating to Moore and Jimenez. I hope they enjoy reading them.