On May 15, 1923, angered by the LAPD's brutal treatment and imprisonment of striking longshoremen, renowned journalist and novelist Upton Sinclair appeared at a rally in San Pedro. Sinclair began reading the First Amendment to the Constitution. Barely able to finish three lines, Sinclair was arrested by the police, who had warned him to "cut out that Constitution stuff." Ninety years later, the ACLU of Southern California has remained true to Sinclair's spirit.

Today, we are at the forefront of efforts to ensure basic equity to all public school students in California, reform our local jails and criminal justice system, provide basic fairness for immigrants, and oppose discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.

Nationally, the ACLU is a leader in securing the right to vote, protecting privacy, defending reproductive freedom, and advancing the freedom to marry.

Our issues, and the individuals or groups in need of legal protection and advocacy, may change, but our mission remains constant. We believe the Constitution and the Bill of Rights establish the framework for maintaining individual freedom, and the constitutional principles of liberty, fairness and equality are our touchstone. Acco