Non-profit

New York Civil Liberties Union

Website:

www.nyclu.org/

Location:

NEW YORK, NY

Tax ID:

13-5628799

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(4)

Budget (2018):

Revenue: $5,231,220
Expenses: $1,497,857
Assets: $8,847,513

Type:

Social-Liberal Advocacy and Litigation

Founded:

1951

The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) is the New York state affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). It engages in litigation in support of and advocates for left-of-center policy. It also uses identity politics as an ideological basis for its work. [1]

Background

Founded in 1951, the New York Civil Liberties Union is the New York state affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union. [2] It is a 501(c)(4) lobbying organization that is supported by the New York Civil Liberties Union Foundation, its 501(c)(3) sister charitable arm. According to its website, the NYCLU Foundation supports the NYCLU’s litigation, education, and communication work. [3]

According to its 2020 annual report, the NYCLU claims more than 125,000 members, 9,400 volunteers, and 310,000 so-called “e-activists.” [4] It received more than $5 million in revenue through its memberships and $5.7 million in total revenue. [5]

The NYCLU campaigns and advocates for left-of-center policy and often uses identity politics as a foundation for its advocacy. [6] The NYCLU asserts that the New York state government as an institution is racist and discriminatory, including its antidiscrimination laws. It argues that New York’s antidiscrimination laws are not explicit enough in what groups and identities are protected, so it advocates for identity politics-based legislation that it claims comprehensively lists all groups that need to be protected. [7]

Issues

Identity Politics

In 2020, the New York Civil Liberties Union released a legislative memo in support of Senate Bill S.8829 and Assembly Bill A.10567-A. The bills would create diversity standards among COVID-19 contract tracers that represent the “cultural and linguistic” diversity of the communities the tracers would be tracking. [8]

On March 29, 2021, the New York Civil Liberties Union lawyers filed an amicus curiae brief in a lawsuit against the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) regarding the OTDA’s computer system for requesting food stamps, Medicaid, and other state social services, which only allows for an individual to identify themselves as male or female when listing their gender. NYCLU’s brief demands the OTDA to add “X” as an option when applicants list their gender. It argues that otherwise, individuals would have to lie under oath if they do not identify with being male or female. [9] Similarly, in May 2021, the NYCLU released a legislative memo in support of the Gender Recognition Act, which would require that all New York documents allow individuals to list their gender as “X” as opposed to being male or female. [10]

In May 2021, the NYCLU released a legislative memo in support of Senate Bill S.1268 that would codify language used in legislation that defines discriminatory conduct. The bill uses identity politics as a rationale for the bill and argues that it addresses the “systemic bigotry and discrimination” that exists under New York state law. It defines sex discrimination as relating to anyone who is or has the capacity to become pregnant. The bill also lists religion, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, disability, sex in regard to the capacity to get pregnant, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression as the groups and identities that are to be protected in any anti-discrimination legislation. [11]

In June 2021, the NYCLU released a legislative memo supporting Assembly Bill A.6529A that would require all private employers in the state of New York to disclose compensation data upon request. The NYCLU argues that the bill is necessary as it argues women and other groups of people are discriminated against by not receiving the same salaries as their counterparts. [12]

On June 23, 2021, the NYCLU filed an amicus curiae brief in Carpenter v. James, a case in which wedding photographer Emilee Carpenter challenged state rules requiring her to offer services to same-sex weddings on the grounds that she had a religious objection to photographing same-sex weddings. In its brief, the NYCLU argues that New York’s antidiscrimination laws “have only an incidental effect on expression” and did not implicate a photographer’s First Amendment rights. It goes on to argue that legislation is needed to include more groups of people from being discriminated against. [13]

Abortion

In February 2022, the NYCLU submitted an amicus curiae brief in Albany v. Harris, arguing that health insurance plans should be required to consider abortions “a critical component of basic health care.” In the brief, it also asserted the court should uphold the constitutionality of the Medically Necessary Abortion Regulation. [14]

Election Integrity

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NYCLU submitted a legislative memo in support of Senate Bill S.8015 that would expedite and expand mail-in voting. It argues that mail-in voting should be available to everyone registered voter as a remedy for voting during a public health crisis. [15]

In January 2022, the NYCLU published a press release in support of the federal John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act, arguing that ethnic minorities have not had equal opportunities to vote, and the bill would increase voting rates among ethnic minorities. The bill would increase funding for elections and weaken election integrity by establishing preclearance rules, granting election officials to change election practices such as for mail-in voting, voter ID requirements, and absentee ballot procedures. [16]

Privacy

The NYCLU has a campaign to end so-called “dragnet” warrants, advocating for legislation such as Assembly Bill A.84 and Senate Bill S.296. The campaign advocates for banning reverse or dragnet warrants that allow law enforcement to track the location of a device or private search histories and use them as probable cause for a warrant. [17]

In June 2020, the NYCLU filed a case against the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision and its acting commissioner, Anthony Annucci, for using facial recognition software to determine who is allowed to visit inmates in New York prisons. It argues the technology is less effective in identifying faces for ethnic minorities and the department needs to release its documentation showing the extent to which law enforcement uses the technology. [18]

Financials

In its 2020 tax returns, the New York Civil Liberties Union reported receiving more than $5 million in revenue through its memberships and $5.7 million in total revenue. [19] It also reported spending $1.6 million on salaries and compensation out of a total of $2.2 million in expenses. [20]

The majority of the funding for the NYCLU’s litigation, communication, and education efforts is received through its 501(c)(3) sister organization, the New York Civil Liberties Union Foundation. [21]

References

  1. “Annual Report (2020).” New York Civil Liberties Union. April 21, 2021. https://www.nyclu.org/en/publications/annual-report-2020. ^
  2. “About the Nyclu.” New York Civil Liberties Union. March 17, 2022. https://www.nyclu.org/about-nyclu. ^
  3.  “Support the NYCLU Foundation.” American Civil Liberties Union. Accessed April 11, 2022. https://action.aclu.org/give/support-nyclu. ^
  4. “Annual Report (2020).” New York Civil Liberties Union. April 21, 2021. https://www.nyclu.org/en/publications/annual-report-2020. ^
  5. American Civil Liberties Union of New York. Return of Organization Exempt form Income Tax (Form 990). 2020. Section VIII, Lines 1b-1h. ^
  6. “Annual Report (2020).” New York Civil Liberties Union. April 21, 2021. https://www.nyclu.org/en/publications/annual-report-2020. ^
  7. “Legislative Memo: Equality of Rights and Protection against Discrimination.” New York Civil Liberties Union. May 25, 2021. https://www.nyclu.org/en/legislation/legislative-memo-equality-rights-and-protection-against-discrimination. ^
  8. “Legislative Memo: Cultural and Linguistic Diversity of Covid-19 Contact Tracers.” New York Civil Liberties Union. August 3, 2020. https://www.nyclu.org/en/legislation/legislative-memo-cultural-and-linguistic-diversity-covid-19-contact-tracers. ^
  9. “Princess Janae Place Et Al v. Ny State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Et Al.” New York Civil Liberties Union. July 14, 2021. https://www.nyclu.org/en/cases/princess-janae-place-et-al-v-ny-state-office-temporary-and-disability-assistance-et-al. ^
  10. “Legislative Memo: The Gender Recognition Act.” New York Civil Liberties Union, Ma. 24, 2021. https://www.nyclu.org/en/legislation/legislative-memo-gender-recognition-act. ^
  11. “Legislative Memo: Equality of Rights and Protection against Discrimination.” New York Civil Liberties Union. May 25, 2021. https://www.nyclu.org/en/legislation/legislative-memo-equality-rights-and-protection-against-discrimination. ^
  12. “Legislative Memo: Advancing Pay Equity by Disclosing Compensation.” New York Civil Liberties Union. June 10, 2021. https://www.nyclu.org/en/legislation/legislative-memo-advancing-pay-equity-disclosing-compensation. ^
  13. “Amicus: Carpenter v. James.” New York Civil Liberties Union. June 29, 2021. https://www.nyclu.org/en/cases/amicus-carpenter-v-james. ^
  14. “Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany v. Harris.” New York Civil Liberties Union. February 28, 2022. https://www.nyclu.org/en/cases/roman-catholic-diocese-albany-v-harris. ^
  15. “Legislative Memo: Voting by Mail during a Public Health Event.” New York Civil Liberties Union. August 3, 2020. https://www.nyclu.org/en/legislation/legislative-memo-voting-mail-during-public-health-event. ^
  16. “The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of New York.” New York Civil Liberties Union. March 3, 2022. https://www.nyclu.org/en/publications/john-r-lewis-voting-rights-act-new-york. ^
  17. “End Dragnet Warrants That Trap Innocent New Yorkers.” New York Civil Liberties Union. April 11, 2022. https://www.nyclu.org/en/campaigns/end-dragnet-warrants-trap-innocent-new-yorkers. ^
  18. “Nyclu v. DOCCS.” New York Civil Liberties Union. July 6, 2021. https://www.nyclu.org/en/cases/nyclu-v-doccs. ^
  19. [1] American Civil Liberties Union of New York. Return of Organization Exempt form Income Tax (Form 990). 2020. Section VIII, Lines 1b-1h. ^
  20. American Civil Liberties Union of New York. Return of Organization Exempt form Income Tax (Form 990). 2020. Part I, Lines 15-18. ^
  21. “Annual Report (2020).” New York Civil Liberties Union. April 21, 2021. https://www.nyclu.org/en/publications/annual-report-2020. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Alexis McGill Johnson
    Former Board Member
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: March - February
  • Tax Exemption Received: April 1, 1972

  • 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
    2018 Mar Form 990 $5,231,220 $1,497,857 $8,847,513 $161,672 N $5,228,605 $2,561 $0 $60,968 PDF
    2017 Mar Form 990 $3,069,247 $1,293,990 $5,066,691 $113,592 N $3,068,497 $0 $750 $59,521
    2016 Mar Form 990 $1,103,923 $1,094,104 $3,292,255 $116,006 N $1,102,966 $0 $933 $57,985 PDF
    2015 Mar Form 990 $1,282,541 $1,062,409 $3,278,155 $109,835 N $1,281,212 $0 $1,033 $55,037 PDF
    2014 Mar Form 990 $1,997,343 $1,166,178 $3,048,880 $99,936 N $1,986,893 $0 $1,347 $49,403 PDF
    2013 Mar Form 990 $1,171,915 $1,033,060 $2,210,540 $90,817 N $1,167,892 $0 $803 $49,468 PDF
    2012 Mar Form 990 $1,104,917 $938,044 $2,065,167 $86,540 N $1,104,240 $0 $677 $49,354 PDF
    2011 Mar Form 990 $1,041,973 $868,730 $1,888,982 $76,634 N $1,040,877 $0 $821 $52,457 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    New York Civil Liberties Union

    125 Broad Street, 19th Floor
    NEW YORK, NY 10004-2458