Leslie Mark

In what ways are you involved with the ACLU of Kansas?  

What specific experience brought you to supporting the ACLU?
I have to go back to 6th or maybe 7th grade. I remember learning about the Scopes Trial, the brilliant advocacy of Clarence Darrow and being stunned that evolution was so threatening an idea that a community would prosecute a biology teacher for doing so. Darrow's agnosticism was a prominent magnet in the story, as it mirrored my family's own beliefs; I was determined to be such a champion when I grew up! 

As adults, my husband and I were fairly consistent annual donors who maintained awareness of key issues (from Women's and Education rights to Voting Access and LGBTQ equality) in Missouri and Kansas and contributed to special needs as they arose -- until the advent of Sam Brownback in KS and the emergence of far-right extremism in state politics. After 2016, with the creation of People Power, I jumped from donor to occasional phone-banker to full-on activist, recommitting to grassroots engagement with others across our communities. Sitting through two and a half weeks of the Fish v. Kobach trial in Federal Court sealed my commitment to the organization and its legal team.

What issue(s) are you passionate about?
Voting/Women's/Equality Rights

If you had a civil liberties magic wand, what issue would you make disappear - or resolve for good?
VOTING (nat'l holiday, auto. registration)

Tell us about your favorite fall or holiday season tradition.
I have 2 - one in early Fall, is the Jewish holiday of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles);  one in later Fall is Thanksgiving. Both bring family and friends to the table to celebrate our physical, psychological and spiritual bounty.

What are you grateful for this season?
I am grateful for the freedom to tilt at the fascist windmills popping up all over our country -- and to meet/know other Don Quixotes along the way.

Who's your favorite civil liberties champion?
(1) Eleanor Roosevelt (opposition to E.O. 9066) | (2) Ruth Bader Ginsburg (early work at ACLU)