Florida ACLU cuts staff

02/06/09 Mitch E. Perry
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Job losses are happening in every sector of the economy, including media organizations and non-profit advocacy groups.

Earlier this week WMFE, the NPR affiliate in Orlando, announced it was laying off 15 staffers, and the ACLU of Florida is laying off six staffers, and expects a seventh to retire soon. That will leave the civil liberties group with a full-time staff of 32.

Brandon Hensler is the spokesman for the Florida ACLU. (roll tape#1 o.q.”Madoff scandal”)

Hensler said he could not speak about what positions would be cut, but he said that it’s important to know of the state wide prescence of the group, outside of Tampa and Miami.

Liberal organizations and publications saw growth during the tenure of George W. Bush, especially after 9/11. The ACLU was one of those groups.

Hensler rejects the idea that because that Bush is gone and Washington is being controlled by Democrats, that there might be a tendency for some to not want to contribute to the ACLU.

Howard Simon, the ACLU’s executive director, told the Miami Herald this week that the good news out coming out of the staffing reductions is that the organization has grown so much in recent years that it can withstand the cutbacks without losing its core focus.

The Florida ACLU has about 25,000 members statewide.

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