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January 22, 2008

ACLU names new director

After an extensive three-month search, the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky has named Michael Aldridge, currently Development Director at Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, as its new executive director. Aldridge, a graduate of U of L’s Brandeis Law School and board member of the Fairness Campaign, has worked at KFTC’s London, Ky., office as its main fundraising coordinator since 2005. Before then he was heavily involved with the No Amendment Campaign, working against a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages.The selection is significant for ACLU-KY, which has seen a series of departures in the past several months, including program associate Maria Ramirez and Amanda Kreps-Long, who led the Reproductive Freedom Project. In September, longtime director Beth Wilson left to join the ACLU of Florida. With those vacancies, key ACLU-KY operations were hampered, including programmatic outreach in Kentucky communities and lobbying in Frankfort. Currently, the organization’s work centers around litigation, which has been handled by staff attorney William E. Sharp, who joined the organization last May.The timing is key, as the legislative session is well under way. There is still a slim chance that Frankfort’s finest will debate a proposed constitutional amendment to restore voting rights for convicted felons.