American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Kansas
P.O. Box 917
Mission KS 66201
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (913) 490-4100
Fax 913- 490-4119
Mission Statement

The mission of the ACLU of Kansas is to protect and defend the constitutional rights and civil liberties of every individual in Kansas regardless of creed, race, religion, gender identification, or class.

Across the spectrum of our issues, the ACLU targets policies and practices that impede the ability of historically disenfranchised communities to empower themselves, gain, and retain an equal footing in society. Communities which have historically suffered infringements of constitutional rights and liberties include people of color, women, immigrants, people who identify as LGBT, prisoners, people with disabilities, and the poor. Ensuring that all people receive truly equal treatment under the law has been a focus of the ACLU’s work since its founding. To that end, we work in the state legislature, legal cases, and local communities to ensure that those who threaten the civil liberties of Kansans, regardless of political partisanship, are met with stark resistance.

The ACLU of Kansas is currently focusing on three systemic issues that disproportionately and adversely affect people of color and other vulnerable populations in Kansas: (1) voting rights, (2) the criminal justice system, and (3) discrimination against immigrant populations.

Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Nadine Johnson
Board Chair Susan Estes
Board Chair Company Affiliation Local Investment Commission (LINC)
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1971
Former Names
American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Kansas and Western Missouri
Volunteer Opportunities
Ways to donate, support, or volunteer
You can support the ACLU Foundation of Kansas, defending fundamental freedoms, through:
 
Tax-Deductible Giving: Please address checks to the "ACLU Foundation of Kansas" and mail to PO Box. Or donate online.
 
Memorial/Honor Gifts: Honor someone's memory or celebrate a friend or loved one by making a gift in their name.
 
Vehicle Gifts: Donate your car, truck, van, SUV, boat, motorcycle, ATV, RV, trailer or airplane. Complete the online form or call 855-500-7433.
 
Stock Gifts: Contact our Donor Services team at 913-490-4103 or giving@aclukansas.org to make a gift via stock or other securities such as bonds or mutual funds.
 
Giving through your Will: Provide for a future gift to the ACLU through your will or other estate plans by contacting our Donor Services team at 913-490-4103 or giving@aclukansas.org. For more information, visit https://www.aclu.org/legacy.
 
Volunteering:  There are many ways to volunteer. Please contact Ellen Glover at eglover@aclukansas.org to find the best fit for you. 
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

 Breakdown
Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Statements
Mission Statement

The mission of the ACLU of Kansas is to protect and defend the constitutional rights and civil liberties of every individual in Kansas regardless of creed, race, religion, gender identification, or class.

Across the spectrum of our issues, the ACLU targets policies and practices that impede the ability of historically disenfranchised communities to empower themselves, gain, and retain an equal footing in society. Communities which have historically suffered infringements of constitutional rights and liberties include people of color, women, immigrants, people who identify as LGBT, prisoners, people with disabilities, and the poor. Ensuring that all people receive truly equal treatment under the law has been a focus of the ACLU’s work since its founding. To that end, we work in the state legislature, legal cases, and local communities to ensure that those who threaten the civil liberties of Kansans, regardless of political partisanship, are met with stark resistance.

The ACLU of Kansas is currently focusing on three systemic issues that disproportionately and adversely affect people of color and other vulnerable populations in Kansas: (1) voting rights, (2) the criminal justice system, and (3) discrimination against immigrant populations.

Background Statement

In the years following World War I, America was gripped by the fear that the Communist Revolution that had taken place in Russia would spread to the United States. As is often the case when fear outweighs rational debate, civil liberties paid the price. In November 1919 and January 1920, in what notoriously became known as the “Palmer Raids,” Attorney General Mitchell Palmer began rounding up and deporting so-called radicals. Thousands of people were arrested without warrants and without regard to constitutional protections against unlawful search and seizure. Those arrested were brutally treated and held in horrible conditions.

In the face of these egregious civil liberties abuses, a small group of people decided to take a stand, and thus was born the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU has evolved in the years since from this small group of idealists into the nation’s premier defender of the rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. With more than 1.5 million members, nearly 1750 staff members, and offices throughout the nation, the ACLU of today continues to fight government abuse and to vigorously defend individual freedoms including speech and religion, a woman’s right to choose, the right to due process, citizens’ rights to privacy and much more. The ACLU stands up for these rights even when the cause is unpopular, and sometimes when nobody else will. While not always in agreement with us on every issue, Americans have come to count on the ACLU for its unyielding dedication to principle. The ACLU has become so ingrained in American society that it is hard to imagine an America without it.

The ACLU nationwide has grown from that roomful of civil libertarians to more than 1.5 million members. The ACLU today is the nation's largest public interest law firm, with a 50-state network of staffed, autonomous affiliate offices. We appear before the United States Supreme Court more than any other organization except the U.S. Department of Justice. About 500 ACLU staff attorneys collaborate with about 2,000 volunteer attorneys in handling close to 2,000 cases annually.

As the state affiliate of the ACLU, the ACLU of Kansas has 8,500 members and a staff of 15 people, plus many, many volunteer attorneys and activists. 

Impact Statement

2018-19 Impact:

  • We made polling locations more accessible for 13,000 registered voters in Dodge City through advocacy with the Ford County Clerk, particularly improving access for young people, the elderly and people of color.
  • We helped pass two bills into law that improve access to the ballot by (1) requiring County Clerks to resolve signature mismatches on mail-in ballots, and (2) enabling Clerks to allow citizens to vote at any polling location in their county.
  • We have assembled 36 community organizations and over 3000 community members in support of a Municipal ID program to Wyandotte County. Muni ID helps those who may lack ID – senior citizens, immigrants, homeless individuals, foster youth – access services like banking, having prescriptions filled, or registering for school. As momentum builds to pass an ordinance in Wyandotte County, we’re looking to expand Safe and Welcoming campaigns to other cities in Kansas.

2020 Goals:

  • We need a permanent, Western Kansas presence on the ground to fight voter suppression and unjust criminal “justice” practices, both particularly affecting immigrant communities. In 2020, we plan to have a field organizer based there.
  • We hope to expand our legal team to allow us to pursue necessary legal work on behalf of Kansans across the state. We are currently operating at capacity and there is much more to be done.
  • We will lead an effort to pass vital criminal justice reform in the upcoming legislative session, focusing particularly on Kansas’ probation system. Violations of probation conditions account for more than half of all new prison admissions. We plan to issue a report which details county-by-county supervision policies and identifies reforms that would reduce mass incarceration, recidivism, racial disparities, and excessive fees.
Needs Statement

The primary needs of the ACLU of Kansas are financial and volunteer support. The ACLU receives no public funding and receives all of its support from private foundations and individual donors. Financial support allows staff to advocate, litigate and educate on behalf of Kansans whose civil rights are in jeopardy.

Financial Supporter - The ACLU sees an increase in support when civil liberties threats are in the news, but we must always stand ready to defend our liberties and advocate for positive reforms no matter what the political climate. In addition to annual funds, legacy gifts are especially appreciated to ensure that the organization is prepared for the threats of the future. For more information on one-time gifts, giving through your will, or annuities, etc, please contact Karen Casebolt at 913.490.4103.
 
Volunteer Activist – Lend your voice to the cause by contacting your legislators, prosecutors and municipal leaders, to express your stance on civil rights issues which matter to you. Sign up to receive action alerts from the ACLU at and we’ll let you know when civil liberties may be at stake in your community. For even more ways to get involved, sign up here.
 
Coalition Partner – Are you a member of an organization or association whose goals align with ours? Contact Ellen Glover at eglover@aclukansas.org to learn how your group can partner as a thought leader and action taker in the areas of Voting Rights, Immigrants’ Rights or Criminal Justice Reform.
Service Categories
Civil Liberties
Civil Rights
Voter Education/ Registration
Areas of Service
KS
Geographic Area Served Narrative The ACLU of Kansas serves the entire state of Kansas and has offices in Overland Park and Wichita.
Programs
Description

Kansas is at the epicenter of the national battle for voting rights. Former Sec. of State Kris Kobach is the architect of the nation’s most restrictive voter registration law, a “documentary proof of citizenship” requirement that forces would-be registrants to provide a birth certificate, passport or similar document. This law created a voting system in which some Kansans are denied the right to vote by virtue of the way they register, leaving tens of thousands of eligible Kansans denied or dissuaded from exercising the constitutional right to vote. The ACLU has used litigation to challenge this and other restrictions initiated by Kobach, most of which are nearing resolution. Even when all voting rights restrictions in Kansas are repealed, there is much to be done to proactively expand access to the ballot for eligible citizens.

Category Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other Civil Rights
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success
  1. Adopt legislation which removes arbitrary voter registration deadlines and ensures that all eligible votes are counted.
  2. Expand opportunities for early voting, including by lengthening and standardizing the early voting period and establishing a permanent advance ballot status.
  3. End Kansas’s involvement in the Interstate Crosscheck system, or overhaul it so that it no longer constitutes a threat to civil liberties and civil rights.
  4. Reduce the number of voters – especially in marginalized communities – who encounter difficulties at the polls.
  5. Enact structural reform in all jurisdictions where electoral systems or processes (such as at-large elections or inadequate polling locations) result in disenfranchisement or vote dilution of communities of color.
Long-Term Success
  1. Expand access to the ballot by eligible citizens.
  2. Ensure that eligible citizens have the opportunity to elect candidates of their choice, and that no community is denied that opportunity through structural barriers designed to dilute its electoral power.
  3. Develop a public narrative that acknowledges the importance of voting to civic engagement and other civil liberties.
Program Success Monitored By
  • Number of volunteers recorded in database
  • Attendance records at monthly volunteer/community engagement events
  • Log of organized contacts with targeted legislators, including one-on-one constituent meetings with elected officials, postcards signed and mailed, town hall attendance, and ACLU policy department meetings with elected officials
  • Number of coalition partners engaged in meetings or other actions
  • Rulings in pending litigation
  • Number of registered voters and number of voters participating in elections along with demographics of each, as reported in public records
Examples of Program Success

Dodge City has offered only one polling site for 13,000 registered voters for the past two decades. When this polling site was moved outside of town - more than a mile from the nearest bus stop - before the 2018 midterm elections, the ACLU of Kansas jumped to action. Our Legal team advocated directly with Ford County Clerk Debbie Cox, our Communications team drafted public education materials, and our Field Organizing team hosted “Know Your Voting Rights” trainings. With the election drawing near and Ms. Cox refusing to engage with us, we then sued on behalf of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), arguing that the new polling site would make it unduly difficult for many of the city’s Hispanic residents to vote due to limited access to transportation and inflexible work schedules. The county responded to the combined pressure of a lawsuit and public outcry, committing to open two new polling stations inside Dodge City limits in advance of the 2019 elections.

Description Kansas has a criminal justice system that costs too much, needlessly incarcerates too many people, works against those trying to make a fresh start, and is permeated by racial disparity. Despite some laudable efforts at bipartisan smart justice reform, a trend of rising incarceration in Kansas has not been reversed or even halted. The state’s crime rate has fallen consistently, but the prison population has quadrupled from 2,300 in 1978 to nearly 10,000 in 2019. Racial disparities in the Kansas criminal justice system are especially pronounced and unacceptable. Although African Americans and Hispanics make up only 17% of the state’s population, they comprise more than half of the prison population. This is a system that is badly broken. It fails to deliver on the constitutional promise of due process and equal protection for all. It restricts liberty in arbitrary and outrageous ways. It carries enormous moral costs, and impairs the safety, vitality, and basic humanity of all Kansans.
Category Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other Civil Liberties
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success
  1. Increase the statewide rate of felony diversion in Kansas from 5% to 10%.
  2. Institute alternatives that end all prison admissions for drug possession. "Simple" refers to possession of drugs which are intended for personal use.
  3. Identify and implement fixes to the probation/parole system, so that prison admissions for violations decline from 56% of all admissions to 30% of all admissions.
  4. Adopt – in the legislature – a “ban the box” provision for state employment.
  5. Adopt a requirement that individuals be convicted of a crime before their assets can be subjected to civil forfeiture proceedings.
Long-Term Success
  1. Reduce the number and rate of incarcerated people in Kansas by at least 50% over the next ten years.
  2. Reduce and eliminate racial disparities in incarceration/supervision rates in Kansas.
  3. Create safer, stronger, more vibrant communities where every person is valued – regardless of prior interactions with the criminal justice system.
  4. Develop a public narrative that encourages evidence-based and constitutionally-sound alternatives to the current criminal justice approach of escalating incarceration and sentencing.
Program Success Monitored By
  • Number of volunteers recorded in database
  • Attendance at monthly volunteer/community engagement events
  • Log of organized contacts with targeted legislators and prosecutors, including one-on-one constituent meetings with elected officials, postcards signed and mailed, town hall attendance, and ACLU policy department meetings with elected officials
  • Number of coalition partners engaged in meetings or other actions
  • Rulings in potential litigation
  • Felony diversion rates by county, admissions rate for probation/parole violations, and the number and rate of incarceration in state prisons – along with the demographics of each category – as reported in public records.
Examples of Program Success

Kansas suspends the driver’s licenses of people who fail to pay traffic tickets, citations, and court-ordered fines and fees, even if these debts are not connected to a driving offense. This results in a two-tiered justice system where rich and poor people with otherwise identical records receive different punishments based solely on their ability to pay. Debt-based driver’s license suspensions force the working poor into an impossible position: choose to drive illegally and risk incarceration in order to get to work or meet family needs, or choose not to drive and lose needed income and access to education and other services. We lent our support to a bill – which ultimately passed – in the 2019 legislative session, allowing fines and fees to be waived for drivers who are unable to pay to reinstate a suspended license. This small step will provide much-needed relief for thousands of Kansans stuck in a vicious cycle of poverty and entanglement with the criminal justice system.

Description

The immigrant population of Kansas has grown consistently over the last two decades, with especially dramatic growth in Wyandotte, Sedgwick, Ford and Finney counties. As in much of the United States, xenophobia and racism are widespread and immigrants are frequent targets of violence, persecution, and discrimination. A handful of anti-immigrant extremists, particularly former Secretary of State Kris Kobach and his allies in the state legislature, consistently attempt to secure passage of harsh, illegal and unconstitutional measures to harass and intimidate immigrants. The rights of immigrants – and people wrongly perceived as being immigrants – are frequently violated in ways that make a mockery of the idea that Kansas is a free, just, safe or welcoming place to call home. The ACLU of KS will lead a campaign to better defend – and in fact expand and strengthen – the rights of immigrants in Kansas.

Category Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other Immigrants' Rights
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success
  1. Defeat any state legislative proposal that would undermine the rights of immigrants. Examples include repeal of in-state tuition, mandatory 287(g) agreements, or banning “sanctuary cities.”
  2. Create at least 3 “safe and welcoming” communities in Kansas, defined as communities that enact a municipal ID card program and decline to volunteer resources for routine, front-line immigration enforcement.
Long-Term Success
  1. Defeat state legislative efforts to undermine the rights of immigrants.
  2. Create “safe and welcoming” cities/communities across the state of Kansas.
  3. Build the capacity of immigrant communities and communities of color for activism on this and other civil liberties issues.
Program Success Monitored By
  • Number of volunteers recorded in database
  • Results of Door to Door Canvass in targeted county, logging number of household knocks, contact rate and action rate
  • Log of organized contacts with mayor and commissioners (or city council), including one-on-one constituent meetings with elected officials, postcards signed and mailed, town hall attendance, and ACLU policy department meetings with elected officials
  • Number of coalition partners engaged in meetings or other actions
  • Rulings in potential litigation
Examples of Program Success

One of the biggest victories in Kansas’ 2019 legislative session was stopping an egregious bill which would have given armed federal agents, including ICE officials, freedom to make warrantless arrests. Testimony flooded in from a variety of organizations concerned that ICE, whose blatant disregard for civil rights is well-documented, would begin targeting immigrants in their communities. Many constituents wrote to the typically low-profile Commerce, Labor and Economic Development Committee – where the bill was introduced – expressing opposition. Thanks in part to our grassroots organizing, leadership development, and coalition building, the people’s voices were heard and Kansans remain protected from warrantless federal arrests.

Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Nadine Johnson
Term Start July 2019
Experience

Nadine Johnson is the Executive Director of the ACLU of Kansas. Prior to joining the ACLU in June 2019, Nadine worked at Google in Los Angeles, where she handled strategic operations and community engagement.
 
Nadine is a former diplomat and constitutional law professor. As an attorney, her experience spanned the public and private sectors. During her time as a U.S. diplomat, Nadine advanced U.S. interests abroad while serving in the Middle East and Africa. While in Washington, she worked cross-functionally to develop U.S. policy at the UN with respect to the Middle East and North Africa.
 
Prior to entering public service, Nadine was a professor of law and political science, teaching constitutional law, comparative constitutional law, and intellectual property law courses at Gonzaga University. She began her academic career at Harvard Law School as a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law. Nadine was born and raised in Indiana. 
Former CEOs
NameTerm
Micah KubicJan 2015 - Dec 2018
Senior Staff
Title Legal Director
Title Development Director
Title Field Director
Staff
Paid Full-Time Staff 15
Paid Contractors 2
Volunteers 903
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan No
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Collaborations

The ACLU of Kansas has an established track record in coalition building and collaboration. In 2016, we launched Kansans for Smart Justice, a coalition of 26 civil rights, faith-based, and social service organizations dedicated to reforming and improving our criminal justice system. Building this coalition has allowed us to steward sentencing reform through the Kansas Legislature during the past several sessions.

In 2017, we launched the Kansas Coalition for Citizen Participation, a coalition of 27 diverse organizations that aims to expand opportunities for citizens from all over Kansas to participate in our elections and make their voices heard in our democracy. The coalition is advocating for common-sense policies to expand Kansans’ access to the ballot box such as enacting same day registration and expanding early voting and absentee voting.

Then in 2018, we founded the Coalition for a Safe and Welcome Wyandotte, hosting 19 organizations who have agreed to support a “safe and welcoming” ordinance in Wyandotte County.

Additionally, the ACLU of Kansas is an active participant in the Kansas Health Foundation’s Health Equity Partnership Initiative cohort and its Integrated Voter Engagement cohort in partnership with the REACH Foundation.

Affiliations
AffiliationYear
Affiliate/Chapter of National Organization (i.e. Girl Scouts of the USA, American Red Cross, etc.) - Affiliate/chapter1971
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? No
Board Chair
Board Chair Susan Estes
Company Affiliation Local Investment Commission (LINC)
Term Apr 2019 to Mar 2022
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Jim BellRetired Attorney
Leslie BissellRetired Paralegal
Sandy BrownRetired Physical Therapist
Micheline BurgerRetired Attorney
Amii CastleUniversity of Kansas, School of Law
Roberta EveslageRetired Professor
Bob EyeKauffman & Eye
Mark JohnsonDentons US LLP
Lon LewisRetired Veterinarian
Raymond RicoGarcia Immigration Law Firm, LLC
Brad StueweRetired Physician
Annie TietzeRetired State Representative
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 12
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 6
Female 7
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
Finance
Nominating
Financials
Fiscal Year Start Apr 01, 2019
Fiscal Year End Mar 31, 2020
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2019, 2018, 2017: Financial data reported using the IRS Form 990.
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
 
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201920182017
Program Expense$602,045$519,841$303,294
Administration Expense$168,862$94,257$150,845
Fundraising Expense$148,708$151,605$82,114
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.311.202.23
Program Expense/Total Expenses65%68%57%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201920182017
Total Assets$1,428,225$1,155,904$926,052
Current Assets$764,988$608,352$585,092
Long-Term Liabilities$0$4,500$0
Current Liabilities$60,639$79,388$45,943
Total Net Assets$1,367,586$1,072,016$880,109
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201920182017
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities12.627.6612.74
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201920182017
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201920182017
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount $461,851 $446,500 --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount $200,000 $123,950 --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount $149,800 $50,000 --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Campaign Purpose

For nearly 100 years, the American Civil Liberties Union has used litigation as our primary calling card, helping shape the nation’s understanding of what freedom means. But our fight is not just in the courthouse. We must also take it to the state house. As the ACLU turns 100, our challenge is to build a more powerful movement for freedom for the most people. The ACLU’s Centennial Campaign is ambitious in scale and scope. Over five years, 2014-2019, ACLU National aims to raise over one billion dollars across our entire enterprise, including 53 state affiliates. Funds will bolster the ACLU’s civil liberties litigation nationwide and expand the ACLU’s advocacy power in the halls of government. In addition to outright gifts, bequest intentions made through an estate plan will be a cornerstone of our campaign’s success. We are honored to have served as the nation’s guardian of liberty for nearly 100 years, and we are committed to continuing in this role for the next 100.

Other Documents
Kansas Legislative Update2019View
About the ACLU of Kansas - Member Intro Sheet2019View
Kansas Legislative Update2018View
Organization Name American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Kansas
Address P.O. Box 917
Mission, KS 66201
Primary Phone (913) 490-4100
Contact Email info@aclukansas.org
CEO/Executive Director Nadine Johnson
Board Chair Susan Estes
Board Chair Company Affiliation Local Investment Commission (LINC)
Year of Incorporation 1971
Former Names
American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Kansas and Western Missouri