Non-profit

ACLU Foundation of Northern California

Website:

www.aclunc.org/

Tax ID:

94-0279770

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2019):

Revenue: $13,757,331
Expenses: $12,674,998
Assets: $43,562,211

The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Northern California Inc. (ACLU Foundation of Northern California) is the charitable affiliate organization of the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California (ACLU of Northern California), a left-leaning activist organization and state-level arm of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). ACLU Foundation of Northern California mainly engages in litigation, policy research, education, and community organizing while the ACLU of Northern California leads the organization’s lobbying and legislative work on the state level.

ACLU Foundation of Northern California advances left-of-center policies on criminal justice, liberal expansionist immigration, social-liberal interpretations of gender and sexuality, and support for the advancement of abortion. [1]

The Foundation works in concert with the ACLU of Northern California; ACLU Foundation of Northern California conducts activities allowed under section 501(c)(3) of the tax code and accepts foundation and individual tax-deductible contributions.

Background

The ACLU Foundation of Northern California was founded in 1972.[2] The ACLU Foundation of Northern California maintains a docket of over 50 legal cases and a number of ongoing policy initiatives including: technology and civil liberties, criminal justice and drug policy, education, immigration, voting rights, and reproductive issues.[3]

Litigation

Public Order

In 2020, the City of San Francisco voted to ban four persons charged with drug dealing from the Tenderloin area of the city citing a public nuisance.[4] The ACLU Foundation of Northern California filed suit on behalf of the individuals arguing the city’s ban was too broad and violated individual rights.[5]

After 72 people were arrested in June 2020 for violating a temporary curfew in the City of Sacramento, the ACLU Foundation of Northern California with Black Lives Matter and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights sent a demand letter that all charges be dropped against the individuals arrested and any fines be waived. The curfew was issued in response to civil unrest and citizens had been told they would be arrested if they violated the curfew.[6]

Immigration

The ACLU Foundation of Northern California sued California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) on behalf of individuals in prison who were turned over the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) due to immigration status.[7] The Foundation has also filed administrative complaints and lawsuits in multiple counties over prison officials releasing detainees to ICE.[8][9][10]

In 2020, ACLU Northern California and ACLU Southern California petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of 13 illegal immigrants being held in a California detention center. Advocates say the detainees are more vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic because of their advanced age and underlying medical conditions. [11] At the time of petition, the 13 detainees were being held at Mesa Verde Detention Center in Bakersfield, California and Yuba County Jail in Marysville, California. The petition was filed on March 24, 2020 and, on April 8, 2020, was granted partial favor with four of the thirteen detainees ordered to be released. [12]

COVID-19

In 2020, the ACLU Foundation of Northern California filed a lawsuit against the sheriff of Tulare County seeking the release of as many jail inmates as possible due to COVID-19 citing a gross indifference to prisoners’ health and safety.[13] Subsequently, in 2021 the ACLU Foundation of Northern California filed another suit against the sheriff claiming prisoners’ cell confinement policy caused physical and psychological harm to inmates.[14]

Election Administration

In 2019, a suit was filed by the ACLU Foundation of Northern California over the moving of a polling location due to perceived political messaging.  In 2018, the Unitarian Universalist Church in Fresno was designated as a voting location for the election. The church had a large “Black Lives Matter” banner hanging outside the entrance and was asked to remove or cover up the banner on election day as it was seen as a political message. The church refused and the polling location was moved to a nearby church. The ACLU Foundation subsequently sued the Fresno County registrar.[15]

Social Liberalism in Religiously Affiliated Health Care Settings

The ACLU Foundation of Northern California filed multiple lawsuits on behalf of transgender individuals who were refused hysterectomies due to the religious beliefs of hospitals.[16] [17]

Finances

In 2019, the ACLU Foundation of Northern California reported $14,347,707 in revenue and $14,526,579 in expenses.[18] The previous year, the Foundation raised $13,757,331 in revenue and reported $12,674,998 in expenses.[19]

Leadership

Abdi Soltani has worked as the executive director of the ACLU of Northern California since 2009.[20] . After graduating college, Soltani joined and subsequently became executive director of Californians for Justice. The center was established after the passage of California Proposition 187, which would have effectively prohibited illegal immigrants from using state benefits such as non-emergency health care education benefits. [21] The law was challenged through the courts and ultimately withdrawn after Governor Gray Davis (D) was elected and intervened. Soltani has since opposed numerous legislative initiatives aimed at requiring citizenship for voting. In an interview with Monterey County Now, Soltani said that there is a concerted effort to pass so-called “voter suppression” laws across the country and that the ACLU will work to challenge the laws before or after passage. [22]

Kevin Baker is the legislative director for ACLU Northern California. In this capacity, Baker manages the agenda for which the group will attempt to influence legislation at the state level in California. Prior to joining the ACLU, Baker was deputy chief council for the California Assembly’s Committee on the Judiciary. His areas of policy focused on civil rights, immigration, privacy, and constitutional law. [23] [24] Baker is also a visiting lecturer at the University of California, Davis School of Law. [25]

References

  1. American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2017. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/940279770/201920369349300927/full ^
  2. ACLU of Northern California website. www.aclunc.org. Accessed July 17, 2021. https://www.aclunc.org/history; Form 990: American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Northern California, 2019. ^
  3. Form 990: American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Northern California, 2019. ^
  4. Moench, Mallory. “S.F. Can’t Ban People Charged With Dealing Drugs From Tenderloin, Court Rules.” San Francisco Chronicle. May 17, 2021. Accessed July 14, 2021. https://www.sfchronicle.com/crime/article/Despite-drug-crisis-San-Francisco-can-t-ban-16178464.php. ^
  5. ACLU of Northern California website. www.aclunc.org. Accessed July 14, 2021. https://www.aclunc.org/our-work/legal-docket/san-franciscos-attempt-ban-28-individuals-tenderloin. ^
  6. ACLU of Northern California press release. “Letter Demands City Of Sacramento Drop Charges Against 72 Protestors For Violating Curfew.” June 15, 2020. Accessed July 19, 2021. https://www.aclunc.org/news/letter-demands-city-sacramento-drop-charges-against-72-protesters-violating-curfew. ^
  7. ACLU of Northern California. “Damages Claims Against Governor Newsom, State Prison Officials For ICE Transfers.” December 11, 2020. Accessed July 14, 2021. https://www.aclunc.org/our-work/legal-docket/damages-claims-against-governor-newsom-state-prison-officials-ice-transfers. ^
  8. ACLU of Northern California press release. “ACLU Files Complaint Against Madera County For Violating CA Values Act.” June 27, 2019. Accessed July 18, 2021. https://www.aclunc.org/news/aclu-files-complaint-against-madera-county-violating-ca-values-act. ^
  9. ACLU of Northern California website. “Solano v. ICE.” February 22, 2021. Accessed July 18, 2021. https://www.aclunc.org/our-work/legal-docket/solano-v-ice-illegal-immigration-arrests-private-contractors. ^
  10. ACLU of Northern California website. “ACLU Foundation of Northern California v. ICE (Detainee Transport).” July 9, 2018. Accessed July 18, 2021. https://www.aclunc.org/our-work/legal-docket/aclu-foundation-northern-california-v-ice-detainee-transport. ^
  11. “Petition for Habeas Corpus and Complaint.” ACLU SoCal. American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, March 24, 2020. https://www.aclusocal.org/sites/default/files/bahena_20200324_complaint.pdf. ^
  12. Chesney, Maxine M. “Order Re: Petitioners’ Motion For Temporary Restraining Order; Directions To Parties.” ACLU SoCal. United States District Court Northern District of California, April 8, 2020. https://www.aclusocal.org/sites/default/files/petitioners_motion_for_temporary_restraining_order.pdf. ^
  13. ACLU of Northern California. “Criswell et al v. Boudreaux (Criminal Justice and COVID-10).” July 29, 2020. Accessed July 18, 2021. https://www.aclunc.org/our-work/legal-docket/criswell-et-al-v-boudreaux-criminal-justice-and-covid-19. ^
  14. ACLU of Northern California. “Criswell et al v. Boudreaux (Criminal Justice and COVID-10).” July 29, 2020. Accessed July 18, 2021. https://www.aclunc.org/our-work/legal-docket/criswell-et-al-v-boudreaux-criminal-justice-and-covid-19. ^
  15. ACLU of Northern California. “Unitarian Universalist v. Orth.” June 23, 2020. Accessed July 18, 2021. https://www.aclunc.org/our-work/legal-docket/unitarian-universalist-v-orth-free-speech. ^
  16. ACLU Foundation of Northern California website. “Knight v. St. Joseph Health.” March 12, 2019. Accessed July 17, 2021. https://www.aclunc.org/our-work/legal-docket/knight-v-st-joseph-health-sex-discrimination. ^
  17. ACLU Foundation of Northern California website. “Minton v. Dignity Health.” September 26, 2017. Accessed September 26, 2017. Accessed July 17, 2021. https://www.aclunc.org/our-work/legal-docket/minton-v-dignity-health-sex-discrimination. ^
  18. Form 990: American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Northern California, 2019. ^
  19. Form 990: American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Northern California, 2018. ^
  20. ACLU of Northern California website. www.aclunc.org. Accessed July 13, 2021. https://www.aclunc.org/staff/abdi-soltani. ^
  21. “California Proposition 187, Illegal Aliens Ineligible for Public Benefits (1994).” Ballotpedia. Accessed April 26, 2020. https://ballotpedia.org/California_Proposition_187,_Illegal_Aliens_Ineligible_for_Public_Benefits_(1994). ^
  22. Ryce, Walter. “Abdi Soltani.” Monterey County Weekly, January 23, 2020. https://www.montereycountyweekly.com/people/face_to_face/abdi-soltani/article_79c7304a-3d70-11ea-871b-9ba6ec18fc01.html. ^
  23. Menu SLS |Events. “How to Use Your J.D. in the Rough-and-Tumble Policy World.” Stanford Law School. Accessed April 24, 2020. https://law.stanford.edu/event/how-to-use-your-j-d-in-the-rough-and-tumble-policy-world/. ^
  24. Renda, Matthew, and Nick Cahill. “California Data-Privacy Law Survives Bids to Weaken It.” Courthouse News Service, September 13, 2019. https://www.courthousenews.com/california-data-privacy-law-survives-bids-to-weaken-it/. ^
  25. “Faculty.” UC Davis School of Law – Faculty & Administration – Visiting Lecturers. Accessed April 24, 2020. https://law.ucdavis.edu/faculty/adjunct.html. ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: March - February
  • Tax Exemption Received: October 1, 1962

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2019 Mar Form 990 $13,757,331 $12,674,998 $43,562,211 $2,196,668 Y $13,190,452 $75,487 $332,207 $796,484 PDF
    2018 Mar Form 990 $14,972,787 $11,408,094 $42,853,409 $3,274,744 N $13,579,311 $902,642 $262,135 $774,030 PDF
    2017 Mar Form 990 $18,507,719 $11,104,423 $39,922,680 $4,811,236 N $17,053,281 $1,002,571 $239,789 $1,384,129
    2016 Mar Form 990 $13,047,993 $8,362,309 $29,014,734 $531,519 N $11,227,619 $873,630 $236,471 $156,568 PDF
    2015 Mar Form 990 $10,158,305 $7,185,906 $26,384,974 $2,135,875 N $8,685,454 $518,338 $227,359 $167,006 PDF
    2014 Mar Form 990 $5,553,005 $6,985,692 $24,466,403 $3,361,480 N $4,525,071 $85,333 $214,111 $172,990 PDF
    2013 Mar Form 990 $10,675,830 $7,390,865 $26,108,160 $2,441,387 N $8,937,445 $1,097,785 $115,885 $274,660 PDF
    2012 Mar Form 990 $7,513,733 $7,243,281 $23,592,514 $3,427,149 N $6,406,507 $129,000 $202,881 $249,389 PDF
    2011 Mar Form 990 $5,034,049 $6,190,795 $24,388,748 $4,541,509 N $4,628,761 $12,300 $208,130 $237,064 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)