Trump victory is big win for civil liberties group

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Since  November, the Arizona chapter of the ACLU has seen membership jump to 20,000 members from 5,000, according to its executive director, Alessandra Soler. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Since  November, the Arizona chapter of the ACLU has seen membership jump to 20,000 members from 5,000, according to its executive director, Alessandra Soler. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Soler says the group has nearly doubled the money it receives in donations. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Soler says the group has nearly doubled the money it receives in donations. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Arizona's chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has emerged as an unexpected winner of President Donald Trump's election victory.

The 100-year-old organization is one of the top opponents of the White House, challenging the president on issues like the travel ban and religious freedom.

Since  November, the Arizona chapter has seen membership jump to 20,000 members from 5,000, according to its executive director, Alessandra Soler.

In addition, she says the group has nearly doubled the money it receives in donations.

In a typical year, the organization raises about $1 million. However, last year Soler says they raised about $1.7 million.

Soler says this will expand the group's political power in the Grand Canyon state, helping to fight for criminal justice reform, education issues and against abortion restrictions.

She says there is an easy explanation for the rise and money and members -- "the Trump bump."

"Trump presents for many of us, many people in this country, the greatest threat to civil liberties that we've seen in our lifetime," Soler said.

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Dennis WlechVeteran political reporter Dennis Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona.

Dennis Welch
Political Editor

Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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