2023 Annual Report

March 25, 2024

Table of Contents

  1. Building a Bold Vision Together: Letter from Our Executive Director and President
  2. Confronting Book Bans
  3. Delivering the People's Agenda
  4. Repairing an Unjust Criminal Legal System
  5. Advocating for Pregnant People
  6. Staff, Board, and Financials

Building a Bold Vision Together in black text on a white background

Building A Bold Vision Together

A Letter from Our Executive Director and President

In the past year, with your support, advocacy by the ACLU of New Jersey secured new protections for our most fundamental freedoms.

We pushed for the passage of legislation that will ensure crisis response teams – not police officers – are the first on scene when New Jerseyans call for help during a mental health emergency. We partnered with community organizations to pass bills that strengthened immigrants’ rights and made New Jersey fairer and more welcoming. We defended the rights of new mothers who were drug tested without consent. We defeated censorship attempts that have no place in a healthy democracy.

These victories cement New Jersey’s position as a national leader on racial and social justice. But as we achieved these milestones together, we also faced renewed – though all too familiar – threats to civil rights and civil liberties.

Some attempted to restrict reproductive health care. Others tried to further shield police officers from accountability. Even more fought to ban books and conceal public records. 

The ACLU-NJ has been at the vanguard of inclusive progress for more than 60 years – so we’ve seen this before. 

And on every occasion where those in power want to attack our rights, we remain steadfast in our mission to defend liberty and justice for all. In these moments, especially, it’s our  responsibility to lead our state toward our vision of a more equitable New Jersey. 

That means deploying our expertise in the courts, in the legislature, and in our communities.  That means holding leaders accountable, correcting the record, and providing innovative and data-driven solutions for the most pressing challenges of our time.

Stats on media impression, news placements, and advocacy messages

We have bold goals for 2024 – a crucial election year. From ensuring reproductive freedom is accessible for all and expanding the right to vote, to reimagining our criminal legal system and expanding immigrants’ rights, our values and our democracy are on the line. We know New Jersey can, and must, move our country forward.

We’re ready for this moment, and we sincerely hope you’ll join us.


Amol Sinha Headshot


Amol Sinha
Executive Director


Marc Beebe | ACLU of New Jersey


Marc Beebe
President of the Board of Trustees


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CONFRONT in black text on white background

In October, the ACLU-NJ hosted a panel discussion, More than Empty Shelves: How Book Bans Undermine Identities and Restrict Information, with ACLU-NJ Legal Director Jeanne LoCicero (left), New Jersey Library Association 2023 Librarian of the Year Martha Hickson, Deputy Director of Garden State Equality Brielle Winslow-Majette, and Pen America Freedom to Read Program Director Kasey Meehan (right).

Confronting Book Bans

The ACLU has defeated censorship attempts throughout the nation for over 100 years. 

In recent years across the nation, we’ve seen a resurgence of systematic attempts to ban books from libraries, classrooms, and curriculums with the aim to undermine experiences across all races, genders, and sexualities. Even though New Jersey has been a national leader in protecting and expanding civil rights and liberties, there have been censorship attempts across the state
in the past year

Censorship is the suppression of content or ideas – and it happens when one group imposes their beliefs on another. Banning books is a type of censorship, but the act can take many forms, like removing a book from the shelf, requiring parental permission to read it, or moving it to a less accessible section.

The ACLU has defeated censorship attempts throughout the nation for over 100 years. Take us at our word: the first step to dismantling any effort to limit access to books – and protecting the themes and experiences they feature – is being able to identify it.

That’s why we’re partnering with community leaders to empower all New Jerseyans with the knowledge they need to push back against any attempts to ban books in their towns. 

In May, we joined leading authors, librarians, and academics at the Montclair Literary Festival where we discussed recent and growing attacks on the freedom to read, the dangers it signals, and how to act. In October, we hosted a panel discussion where experts explained the responsibility we all have to protect the right to freely speak, think, read, and write.

Banning books means more than taking them off the shelf: it threatens the very foundation of our democracy. We must learn from our nation’s history, reject discriminatory attacks by prioritizing inclusive policy change, and protect New Jerseyans’ fundamental rights – especially for those who are most vulnerable. 

As the right to access information is under attack, New Jersey has an obligation to lead by example in defending it. 

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DELIVER in Black text on White background
Delivering the People's Agenda

Calling for protections and expansions of fundamental rights that are essential to building a fair and welcoming future. 

The end of 2023 brought a Lame Duck session to the Legislature – and with it an opportunity for New Jersey to pass legislation that advanced racial and social justice.

To ensure New Jerseyans’ voices were heard, we joined community partners in November to deliver the People’s Agenda to every legislative office across the state – all in all, 28 advocacy organizations appeared at more than 100 suites urging lawmakers to pass nearly 20 bills expanding fundamental rights. 

Weeks later, Gov. Murphy signed many of those landmark pieces of legislation into law. 

To strengthen immigrants’ rights, lawmakers passed bills to increase language access, disaggregate demographic data, and extend new protections to domestic workers. These changes are essential to building a fair and welcoming future where all New Jerseyans can support their families and fully participate in their communities without fear.

To begin addressing overpolicing, especially in communities of color, lawmakers passed the Seabrooks-Washington Community-Led Crisis Response Act that creates a pilot program for Community Led First Response Teams in several New Jersey counties. These teams will serve as an alternative to law enforcement response to mental health, substance use, and other nonviolent incidents. 

Seeing these important bills signed into law further cemented New Jersey’s position as a  national leader on civil rights and liberties. It also made one fact perfectly clear: when we fight, we win.

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REPAIR in Black text on white background
Repairing an Unjust Criminal Legal System

New Jersey prisons continue to have the highest rate of racial disparity in the nation, making decarceration fundamental to racial justice here, and beyond.

After decades of dedicated advocacy, the ACLU-NJ has helped lay the foundation for reimagining the criminal legal system in New Jersey through policy change that has reduced the state’s prison population by more than 50 percent since 2011. But despite this historic reduction, New Jersey prisons continue to have the highest rate of racial disparity in the nation, making decarceration fundamental to racial justice here, and beyond. 

In June, we released a landmark report, Decarcerating New Jersey, which analyzes state incarceration data from 2017-2022, a period when New Jersey led the country in prison reductions. In it, we reject fearmongering and “tough-on-crime” policies that only further drive mass incarceration and division – data shows that violent crime is trending downward in tandem with drastic reductions in the state’s incarcerated population. Instead, we offer a transformative vision of justice.


Group of three men and two women standing in front of a white wall in business attire
In June, the ACLU-NJ hosted a panel discussion, Expanding Freedom and Centering Humanity, A Vision of Decarceration in New Jersey, with Amol Sinha, Executive Director of the ACLU-NJ (left); Cynthia Roseberry, Acting Director of the ACLU Justice Division; Luis A. Torres, B.S. in Criminal Justice and lived experience in the carceral space; Kassandra Frederique, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance; and Alexander Shalom, Director of Supreme Court Advocacy of the ACLU-NJ. Photo by Christopher Lopez.

Our recommendations include abolishing mandatory minimum sentences, leveraging categorical clemency, expanding opportunities for compassionate release, and eliminating criminal and civil penalties for drug use and possession. 

It’s critical to keep building on this momentum to tackle deep racial disparities and reduce New Jersey’s incarcerated population. With wholesale change, we can continue to build stronger  communities – and reimagine the criminal legal system as we know it. 

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ADVOCATE in black text on white background
Advocating for Pregnant People

Hospitals' practice of drug testing pregnant patients violates New Jersey's Law Against Discrimination on the basis of sex and pregnancy — it must end.

Imagine if eating your morning bagel led you to test positive for opiates on a drug test. 

In March, two women represented by the ACLU-NJ filed complaints with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights after they were drug tested without their knowledge upon arriving at the hospital to give birth. The filings allege that the hospitals’ practice of drug testing pregnant patients violates New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination on the basis of sex and pregnancy and seek, among other relief, that both hospitals end this unlawful practice.

Both women’s tests returned positive for opiates after their consumption of an “everything” bagel with poppy seeds that morning. Based on these tests alone, the hospitals then reported both women for possible abuse or neglect before they even had the chance to parent their newborn children. This led to an invasive, traumatic investigation of each woman’s family.

But regardless of what triggers a positive result, patients should never be tested without their consent, and healthcare providers should not automatically report patients to state authorities based on a positive test alone. Test-and-report practices turn once-trusted healthcare providers into arms of the family policing system, discouraging people from seeking necessary care. The stakes are far too high, particularly for Black women in New Jersey, who face unjustified higher levels of suspicion around drug use and experience the second highest Black maternal mortality rates in the

In filing their complaints, both mothers are sending a clear message to hospitals that these testing and reporting policies are unacceptable – and New Jersey must advance and protect reproductive freedom.

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1. Staff & Board

A.Staff & Board



Paloma Aguas, Senior Communications Strategist
Lanae Ali, BOLD Fellow
Sal Amico, Development Operations Coordinator
Farrin Anello, Senior Staff Attorney
Rhea Beck, Director of People and Culture
Carla Chávez, Deputy Director and Chief Operations Officer
Mary Del Plato, Digital Communications Strategist
Diane DuBrule, Development Director
Sarah Fajardo, Policy Director
Elyla Huertas, Staff Attorney
Joe Johnson, Policy Counsel
Ami Kachalia, Campaign Strategist
Molly Linhorst, Staff Attorney
Jeanne LoCicero, Legal Director
Tom Lovett, Finance Manager
Scott McDowell, Deputy Communications Director
Eric McKinley, Office and Technology Manager
Neddie Nather, Major Gifts Officer
Elizabeth Osley, Legal Department Manager
Maia Raposo, Communications Director
Dillon Reisman, Staff Attorney
Lillian Rivera, Executive Assistant
Alicia Rogers, Program Coordinator and Paralegal
Niesha Scott, Legal and Intake Administrative Assistant
Hannah Seewald, Communications Associate
Alexander Shalom, Director of Supreme Court Advocacy and Senior Supervising Attorney
Amol Sinha, Executive Director
Alejandra Sorto, Campaign Strategist
Jim Sullivan, Deputy Policy Director
Rebecca Uwakwe, Senior Staff Attorney
Liza Weisberg, Staff Attorney

The following staff left the ACLU-NJ in the past year; we thank them for their efforts in creating a more just and equitable New Jersey: Jené Irving, Kate Oh, Priyanka Parker, and Karen Thompson.

Board of Trustees 

Ed Barocas, Esq. (ret.)
Marc Beebe, President
Frank Corrado, Esq.
Jay D. Gartman, Treasurer
CJ Griffin, Esq., Vice President
Debra E. Guston, Esq.
S. Nadia Hussain, National Board Representative
Alexis Karteron, Esq.
Gary D. Nissenbaum, Esq., At-Large
Joseph Novick, Esq.
Joseph B. Parsons, At-Large
Jacob S. Perskie, Esq.
Marnita Robertson, Esq.
Afsheen Shamsi
Amardeep Singh, Esq.
Heather Taylor, Secretary
Jeffrey J. Wild, Esq.

Research Assistants, Interns & Volunteers 

Gineen Abuali
Kristine Baffo
Bryan Barros
Elias Bull
Anusha Das
Catherine De Freitas
Tayler Gospodarek
Grace Lang
Gwynn Marotta
Katherine McLamb
Nikita Nair
Shreya Sampath
Rachel Simon
Kirah Tianga

2. Income & Expenses Fiscal Year 2023

A.Income & Expenses Fiscal Year 2023

Support & Revenue  
Contributions $2,061,668*
Grants $1,149,050
Bequests $1,000
Membership $1,432,071
Interest and Dividends $152,529
Legal case awards $407,479
Other income $12,309
TOTAL $5,216,106
*Includes special events income, minus direct expenses  
Program $3,499,312
Management & General $1,037,547
Fundraising $489,859
TOTAL $5,026,718
Unrealized gain on investment securities ($480,577)
NET ($291,189)

For the ACLU of New Jersey and the ACLU of New Jersey Foundation from April 1, 2022, to March 31, 2023.