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Building Our Future

Annual Report | 2018 – 2019

From the Executive Director

Together we are reimagining the promises of our Constitution–to grow and expand its protections to more people than ever before.

Dear friends,

Over the last three years, all of us have been working so hard to defend our country and the ideals embodied in our Constitution. It’s been relentless, and I know that we have all felt tired at times.

But, for the first time in a long time, here in Maine we find ourselves not simply defending against things getting worse, but proactively working to make things better. We live in a state that is seizing on opportunities to expand civil rights and civil liberties. We are working with leaders who are willing to challenge the status quo, who believe in protecting reproductive freedom, expanding health care, fighting racism, and stopping practices that harm LGBTQ people. It’s an amazing feeling!

Don’t get me wrong–we cannot let our guard down. There is still much work to be done at home and around the country. But even as we fight against these injustices, we will mark the victories that expand our rights further and further.

Together we are reimagining the promises of our Constitution–to grow and expand its protections to more people than ever before. Together we are daring to create a more perfect union. And together we are the ACLU of Maine. Thank you.


Alison Beyea, Executive Director

We’re not waiting for change to happen tomorrow–we’re making it happen today. 

In the courts, in the legislature, and on the streets.

Building a Maine for All. This year Maine became the first state in the nation to end the use of indigenous mascots in public schools. We were proud to call for this historic change alongside tribal leaders who have worked for years to stop this harmful practice. Research shows these mascots hurt indigenous kids and teach all students that racial stereotyping is okay. Now Maine is forging a bold new legacy, including statewide recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

And along with our partners, we secured the establishment of a Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial and Ethnic Populations in Maine. Though generations of civil rights activism have led to important gains, systemic racism in our schools, legal system and workforce persist, and the poverty rate for Black Mainers is dramatically higher than the national average. The Commission will be tasked with understanding how our existing state policies reinforce economic disparities.

Defending Principles We Believe In. We’re also fighting back against Border Patrol’s attempts to make immigrants feel unwelcome in Maine. As reports of racial profiling on our highways, at bus stations, and in stores escalate, we’ve filed two lawsuits to force Customs and Border Protection to operate more transparently. And we’re providing trainings so people know what their rights are should they find themselves–or witness someone else–being questioned.

Changing the System: Fighting for justice in the criminal legal system.

Stopping the Punishment of Addiction. This year our legal team fought to ensure Mainers with substance use disorder can continue taking their doctor-prescribed medicine while incarcerated. Most Maine jails have banned medication assisted treatment despite the medical consensus that it is a safe and effective way to keep people from relapsing. We argued this denial of care violated the 8th Amendment and the Americans with Disabilities Act. We won, and now our client–a mother from Madawaska–and others like her will get the care they need to stay on track.

Keeping People Out of Jail. In the legislature, we led the charge to create a court date reminder system. One in five pretrial detainees in Maine are in jail because of a missed court date–often because they simply forgot. Now, Maine will create a text message-based court reminder system–just like what you get from your dentist–to keep people out of jail and save Maine valuable resources.

Ending Youth Prisons. We’re also changing the conversation around juvenile justice in Maine. As our lawsuit on behalf of a young boy beaten by guards at Long Creek youth prison continues, we’ve also submitted briefs in a case challenging the state’s policy of locking up kids with severe mental illness. And we’re working with coalition partners and legislators to move Maine away from a prison model toward community-based care for our most vulnerable young people.

Leading the way

Together we’re carrying the beacon of civil rights & civil liberties in Maine and for the nation.

Rebooting Privacy in a Digital Age. In a landmark victory for privacy rights in the digital age, the ACLU of Maine helped pass two bills that give Mainers some of the strongest privacy protections in the country. The first law requires internet service providers (ISPs) that do business in Maine to get customers’ permission before selling their data to a third party. The second requires ISPs that receive state funding to treat all internet content equally, regardless of the source–meaning they can’t decide which sites and applications will load faster or slower. As technology develops and our digital footprint grows, so does the need for greater protections against government and corporate overreach. We stand ready.

The Future of Reproductive Healthcare is Equal. Access to safe and legal abortion care is critical to ensuring all people can make the best decisions for themselves and their families. As many states roll back access, Maine has become a beacon of hope. Lawsuits filed by the ACLU of Maine paved the way for two legislative victories: one new law ends the ban on qualified advanced clinicians providing abortion care, and the other requires most insurance–including MaineCare–to cover abortion. These huge advances ensure more Mainers have access to the care they need, regardless of where they live or how much money they make. No matter what happens at the federal level, we remain committed and ready to defend reproductive freedom for all.

By the Numbers

Together we will continue to fight for a future that is just, inclusive, equal, and welcoming. 

We are profoundly grateful to all the members, coalition partners, community leaders, monthly supporters, leadership donors, volunteers, social media activists, and everyone in between whose generosity fuels our work to protect and advance civil liberties. Together we will continue to fight for a future that is just, inclusive, equal, and welcoming. 


Volunteer calls during the legislative session


Visits to microsite to learn about Maine's DA races


TV, radio, and print stories highlighting our positions


Volunteer hours

Your continued support ensures the ACLU of Maine remains a vibrant and vital organization for future generations.

Support and Revenue

Donations, Grants & Membership: $1,326,858
Bequests: $19,269
National ACLU: $300,000

Total: $1,646,127


Programs: $1,209,338
Management & General: $144,966
Fundraising: $161,648

Total Expenses: $1,515,952

Other Changes in Net Assests

Investment & Other Income: $81,855
Realized & Unrealized Gains: ($18,693)

Consolidated audited statement of activities for the ACLU of Maine and the ACLU of Maine Foundation, Fiscal Year 2019 (April 1, 2018 - March 31, 2019)

Board of Directors

Susan Bates, President
Jodi Nofsinger, Vice President
Christopher Branson, Treasurer
Nancy Fannon, Secretary & National Board Representative
Robert E. Talbot, Equity Officer
Sarah Bigney
Daniel N. Crewe
Sally Dobres
Joyce T. Gibson
Robert Kelley
Colleen Khoury
Doug Kimmel
M. Calien Lewis
Susan Peck
Lisa Sockabasin
Krystal Williams 

ACLU of Maine Team

Pablo Anaya, Major Gifts Officer
Beth Ansheles, Finance Director
Makena Bauss, Digital Media Strategist
Alison Beyea, Executive Director
Emma Bond, Staff Attorney
Rachel Healy, Communications Director
Zach Heiden, Legal Director
Michael Kebede, Policy Counsel
Ariel Kernis, Deputy Director
Emma Findlen LeBlanc, Senior Researcher
Laura Retherford, Director of Leadership Giving
Joelle Rutembesa, Finance & Development Associate
Margarita Salguero-Macklin, Office Manager
Dhivya Singaram, Engagement Coordinator
Meagan Sway, Policy Counsel


ACLU of Maine
PO Box 7860
Portland, ME 04112

(207) 774-5444