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Larimer County, Colorado
HomeCivil Liberties

This team monitors government activities at all levels for possible erosion of individual liberties as granted by the US Constitution. We strive to educate LWV members and the public about identified issues and encourage action based on League positions.

"Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you." RBG

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Civil Liberties News and Commentary


"A new wave of ICE arrests is expected to begin... in at least 10 cities across the country. We're fighting back by suing to stop mass deportations of refugee families. Here's what you can do to fight back in your community:

Share our multilingual Know Your Rights guide on Facebook and Twitter. Everybody should know that we have rights that ICE cannot violate.

Know this: We don't have to open the door if ICE comes knocking. If the agents don't have a warrant signed by a judge, then we can refuse to let them in. We have the right to remain silent. And we shouldn't sign anything before speaking to a lawyer.

ICE raids are nothing new. But for over two years now, the Trump administration has been terrorizing our communities at a new level – tearing thousands of families apart, spreading fear and hate. If this isn't the kind of country we want to live in, then we must keep fighting to defend our communities.

The best way to fight back? Know your rights. And help your family, friends, and neighbors to know theirs.

Spread the word on Facebook and Twitter so we all know what to do if ICE shows up. Our communities are diverse, so we've translated our guide to 8 languages that encompass most of the undocumented population. "


By Florence Field


[Parts of the following are based on an article in the August 18, 2019 issue of the New York Times Sunday Magazine.  To read the entire article:]


“In August 1619, a ship carrying more than 20 enslaved Africans arrived at a coastal port in the British colony of Virginia.  The [African slaves] on board were sold to colonists, marking the beginning of a more than two-century-long institution that would radically alter and continue to inform the identity of a young nation.”


“August is the 400th anniversary of that ship’s arrival.  To commemorate this historic moment and its legacy, The New York Times Magazine has dedicated an entire issue and special broadsheet section, out this Sunday [August 18, 2019], to exploring the history of slavery and mapping the ways in which it has touched nearly every aspect of contemporary life in the United States; …. its legacy continues to shape our country. “


“Almost every contributor in the magazine and special section – writers, photographers and artists – is black.”  The idea for the Project came from Nicole Hannah-Jones, a NY Times reporter who won a MacArthur Grant in 2017 for her work on American segregation.  The 1619 team felt that the Project should stand as a “constant reminder that even though slavery was formally abolished more than 150 years ago, its legacy has remained insidious,”  and to explore and explain “the nuances of what it means to be a black person in America.”


“The 1619 Project also includes a multipart audio series, a page dedicated to understanding the significance of 1619 in the upcoming issues of the New York Times for Kids, and a partnership with the Pulitzer Center to create a curriculum that will be distributed in schools across the country.”  The Project will be distributed for free at libraries, museums and schools nationally. 


[For those interested in delving further, links can be found by Googling “1619 Project.”]



Plan to Expand County Jail
by Carol Rush

Larimer County Commissioners have written into the 2019 budget funding for the expansion of the county jail at a cost of $75 million.  This is to be accomplished without a public vote on the expansion by using funds from the County’s capital project fund but also through what is called “Certificates of Participation” which is a lease/purchase transaction used to raise money for capital expenditures.    This has been used successfully in the past by the County.  The county makes an annual payment to investors on a lease for the project, plus interest payments.  In this current proposal, $6.9 million would be borrowed the first year.

          The County held a public forum on June 1 which included a panel of County officials plus people who work in the field of justice and with those impacted by the justice system.  It is available on YouTube at   Good information was brought out at this forum.  The need for updating and expanding meeting rooms was agreed upon.   However, opponents of the expansion expressed concern that this capital expansion is not going to a public vote, argued that more services need to be offered by the community to keep people from going to jail in the first place (like comprehensive mental health care, affordable housing, access to public transportation.)  Opponents praised the state-wide effort to eliminate cash bail for those awaiting a court hearing.  As this new law goes into effect, it should reduce the number of people stuck in jail awaiting a court hearing.

          This matter of the jail expansion is a multi-faceted issue.  The Larimer County League of Women Voters is hosting a public meeting on Monday, June 24, 2010 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Pathways Hospice located at 305 Carpenter Road, Fort Collins, 80524.  Local community member Sidna Rachid, who has researched this matter, and Linda Hoffman, Larimer County Manager, are scheduled panelists.  You are encouraged to attend and ask your questions.

Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for
the Right to Vote
By Jane A Everham for Florence Field
Posted on 6/17/2019 3:26 PM 

Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote 
by Susan Ware


Next year, as we all know (or should know), will see the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment which, after a long struggle, finally gave women the right to vote.  It is also the 100th birthday of the founding of the League of Women Voters in the same year.


A new book, Why They Marched, by Susan Ware, a Harvard historian at the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, is a lively, and even entertaining, look at this arduous journey to women’s right to vote.  Unlike most studies about the suffragist movement, Ware’s approach covers a broad range of contentious issues and personalities that actually made up the women’s rights movement.


Unfortunately, the history of the suffragist movement is tarnished by the racism of the times. In planning for a demonstration march by the suffragists in 1913, the Illinois delegation, which included an active organization of African American women, voted  “to keep our delegation [in the parade] entirely white.”  Instead, blacks were relegated to a separate section at the end of the parade.  Some white members protested loudly but to no avail. 


Ware continues: “Organized white women’s lack of interest in the voting rights of African Americans continued in the postsuffrage era, when both the League of Women Voters and the National Women’s Party consciously defined black voting rights as matter of race, not gender, and thus not of primary concern to their political agendas ….  [and] marring what was supposed to be a movement for democracy and full citizenship.”


The book features nineteen suffragists from various backgrounds, which gives it its broad perspective.  It is a clever way of introducing  a variety of issues and people involved in the movement but are generally glossed over in historical women’s studies.  It contains new information and is a great introduction  to the births of both the 19th Amendment and the League of Women Voters. Get ready for 2020!

Florence Field


*The copy I got from the Library was given “In Memory of Anne Manvel from Larry & Beverly Webber.”   




Advocacy, Research, and Education

A Forum on Comprehensive Immigration Reform and a Forum, "Xenophobia: A Threat to Civil Liberties" have been presented to Members and the public this year.  

by Florence Field and The Civil Liberties Team

Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for 
the Right to Vote
By  Florence Field