The ACLU of North Dakota has new leadership.
After closing its doors for over a year, Dane DeKrey has been hired as the new Advocacy Director for the state's branch of the ACLU. He says over the past month he's been focusing on getting the organization re-established in North Dakota and talking to people about important issues they feel need to be addressed regarding civil rights and civil liberties. DeKrey went to the University of North Dakota for his undergraduate studies, and then to law school at the University of Minnesota. He says so far his career has been focused on fighting for the rights of ordinary people - both in representing people suing companies, and as a federal public defender in Fargo. DeKrey says since the 2016 election there is a lot of new support for the ACLU locally and nationally - so the organization is left to figure out what to do with its new support and resources.
"It's been a bit reactive - which means when something happens, a law is passed or a decision is made that we think infringes upon civil rights or civil liberties, we spring into action," DeKrey says. "But the new focus is to transition into a proactive organization. By that I mean we are going to try to stop that bad thing from happening in the first place, and if we can do that that's great. If not, we can always go back to our old reactive approach of fighting that once it's been passed. And I think that's why my position has been named 'advocacy director,' because we are moving into a more advocacy position than we have historically."
DeKrey says he hopes to focus on smart justice, LGBT rights, and indigenous rights. He says he is eager to speak with North Dakotans about what issues matter to them - so anyone can email him at email@example.com.