PHOENIX—Darrell Hill has been named the ACLU of Arizona’s policy director. Hill, a staff attorney with the organization for more than seven years, will play a critical role in building a more expansive legislative advocacy program that will engage the ACLU’s rapidly growing base of supporters, volunteers and activists and achieve key policy goals around priority issues such as criminal justice.
As the lead policy expert at the ACLU of Arizona, Hill is responsible for developing the organization’s legislative program and policy agenda. He will oversee the ACLU’s lobbying efforts, including developing and implementing strategies to engage policymakers from both sides of the political aisle, and advance the ACLU’s four policy priorities: criminal justice reform, education equity, immigrants’ rights and LGBTQ equality.
The ACLU is supporting several measures, including HB 2270, which would make Arizona’s sentencing laws fairer and more proportionate by giving people the opportunity to earn their way to an earlier release date if they successfully complete rehabilitative programming.
“I’m proud of all the work we’ve accomplished in Arizona and I’m excited to keep fighting for justice and equality in this new role,” Hill said. “Arizona has the fourth highest incarceration rate in the United States, but we have the opportunity to reform our ineffective criminal justice system, which disproportionately impacts people of color. I am looking forward to pushing for criminal justice policy solutions alongside organizations and individuals from across the political spectrum, and making sure politicians understand the urgency of smart justice.”
During his time with the ACLU, Hill handled litigation and legal advocacy related to free speech, equity in education and voting rights. He successfully litigated numerous cases on behalf of the organization, including cases concerning Arizona’s Free Exercise of Religion Act, Arizona’s public records law, and the First Amendment. Hill has provided testimony before the Arizona Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights regarding voting rights and assisted the ACLU of Arizona’s Demand to Learn campaign in writing a report concerning barriers to enrollment in Arizona charter schools. Hill attended University of Wisconsin Law School and received his bachelor’s degree in English and sociology from Northwestern University.
Hill’s new role as policy director comes at a time when the ACLU is growing rapidly. ACLU membership in Arizona has increased from 5,000 before the November 2016 election to over 16,000 members today. In response, the ACLU is devoting additional resources to develop a robust, grassroots organizing program that centers the leadership of people most impacted by our proactive advocacy efforts.
“Darrell has been an integral part of the ACLU of Arizona team, most notably fighting for access to public records and our First Amendment liberties,” said ACLU of Arizona Executive Director Alessandra Soler. “With criminal justice reform on the horizon, I am confident that Darrell will work with elected officials and impacted communities to alleviate the mass incarceration crisis affecting thousands of Arizonans.”