FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PHOENIX—In order to strengthen the ACLU’s presence in southern Arizona, the ACLU of Arizona recently opened an office in Tucson, where the organization’s expanding network of activists and supporters is ready to fight threats posed by the Trump administration. The ACLU of Arizona’s main office is in Phoenix.
Staff Attorney Billy Peard will be based in the Tucson office. The new office will allow the ACLU of Arizona to better preserve and defend the civil liberties of residents in southern Arizona. Nearly 7,000 ACLU members live in southern Arizona, demonstrating the region’s strong interest in helping to advance the ACLU of Arizona’s strategic priorities related to education equity, LGBTQ equality, criminal justice reform, and immigrants’ rights.
“Our growing staff presence in Tucson will significantly extend the reach of the ACLU of Arizona,” said Alessandra Soler, ACLU of Arizona executive director. “Fortifying strategic partnerships with individuals and organizations in Tucson, as well as other Arizona border communities, will help us amplify the work of the ACLU and fight back forcefully against President Trump’s wasteful and dangerous plan to ramp up border security and further militarize the southwest border.”
Peard, who grew up in Tucson, joined the ACLU of Arizona in May. He was previously a staff attorney for legal aid in Massachusetts, where he represented immigrant farmworkers. He has also served as a staff attorney at Georgia Legal Services Program, fighting for workers earning as little as $4 per hour. He is a graduate of Warren Wilson College in North Carolina and Vermont Law School.
“I look forward to collaborating with our community partners to keep federal, state, and local government accountable to all those who call southern Arizona home,” Peard said.
The ACLU of Arizona, founded in 1959, has more than 21,000 members – up from roughly 6,000 before the November 2016 election, a 250 percent increase – 16 staff members, and an annual operating budget of $2.1 million. The organization works in courts, communities, and legislative bodies to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone.