The best way to describe my experience with ACLU-NJ is to refer to movies I watched as a child. I was lost, besieged by powerful officials marching lock-step against our organization and against me, personally. ACLU-NJ was the cavalry, riding in to save the day! This is no exaggeration.
I had organized members of my small community, Wyckoff, NJ. We had distributed over 400 lawn signs to residents who had requested them. Approximately 100 residents attended appropriate town meetings month after month. Suddenly, town officials began threatening me, both in person and in the press, that our lawn signs were breaking the law, they said. In the newspaper, they asked who I think I am that I should be allowed to break the law.
Wyckoff regulations state that lawn signs can be displayed only for one month and must be at least 25 feet from the curb.
I was under sudden attack at risk of legal penalties. Throughout the organizing process, we had been respectful and reasonable. Now this! What could I do to save our effort? Lawn signs were critical.
So I contacted ACLU-NJ through their website. Within 20 minutes, an ACLU attorney called me. She explained that lawn signs of the sort we were using are considered by the U.S. Supreme Court to be central to freedom of speech. The ACLU-NJ attorney phoned and wrote several letters to town officials.
I never heard another word about lawn signs from town officials. The cavalry had saved the day quickly and in the nick of time!
Review from Guidestar