ACLU NEWS RELEASE * NEWS RELEASE * NEWS RELEASE * NEWS RELEASE ACLU Appoints New Washingto

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ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU NEWS RELEASE * NEWS RELEASE * NEWS RELEASE * NEWS RELEASE ACLU Appoints New Washington Office Director; Laura Murphy Lee Takes Helm of Legislative Effort For IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 26, 1993 WASHINGTON -- With the goals of repairing the damages of the last 12 years and building partnerships with the new Administration and Congress to gain new ground for civil liberties, Laura Murphy Lee has begun her tenure as Director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Washington office. The appointment of Lee, the first woman and first African-American to head the ACLU's Washington office, was made by Ira Glasser, the ACLU Executive Director, who worked with her when she was an ACLU lobbyist in the early 1980s. "By accepting this position, Laura is `coming home,' and I am delighted to have her back," Glasser said. "Our Washington office has a history of substantial accomplishment and is now in a critical position to continue to make an important difference." In addition to her almost four years as legislative representative with the ACLU in the early 1980's, Lee served as Director of Development and Planned Giving for the ACLU's Southern California Affiliate and later as a Board member of two ACLU affiliates. She was also on the staffs of Congressman Parren J. Mitchell and Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm. Most recently, Lee was Director of Tourism for DC Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly. Lee takes over the Washington office after its former Director, Morton Halperin, joined the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Halperin has since been nominated by the Clinton Administration to be Assistant Secretary for Democracy and Human Rights in the Defense Department. In the early months of her tenure, Lee said, she will work with the staff of the Washington office, which includes more than 12 legislative representatives and other professional staff members, to establish long- and short-term priorities. "While we now have enormous opportunities," she said, "we also face stiff challenges from Congress in areas such as crime legislation and ending the military's ban on lesbians and gay men. "In this time of scarce resources among public interest organizations," Lee added, "we need to set our priorities and pick our battles wisely." In addition to continuing the ACLU's work on crime legislation and the military ban, Lee said that the ACLU Washington office will closely monitor the Administration's health care reform proposals to insure that they continue to protect the privacy of patients and other consumers of health care insurance. The office will also help coordinate the campaign to grant statehood to the District of Columbia, and to implement the comprehensive, 175-page proposal for change submitted to the Clinton Administration. Other priorities include working to guarantee reproductive rights for all women, including the young and the poor, and scrutinizing various lobbying and campaign reform proposals to insure that they do not conflict with First Amendment guarantees. Lee also will work to restore funding to various civil rights enforcement agencies that had been gutted by the Reagan and Bush Administrations. "In the last 12 years, this country has seen its infrastructure of civil rights enforcement dismantled and disabled," Lee said. "We need to work with the Clinton Administration to insure that they are restored." --end-- ============================================================= ACLU Free Reading Room | A publications and information resource of the gopher://aclu.org:6601 | American Civil Liberties Union National Office ftp://aclu.org | mailto:infoaclu@aclu.org | "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty"

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