ACLU making biggest cuts in decades

The economic downturn is hitting the pro bono legal sector hard, with the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California imposing layoffs for the first time, today's L.A. Daily Journal says. From reporter Gabe Friedman:

Among those hit hard is the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, which is confronting the worst budget crisis in at least three decades. For the first time ever in January, it laid off two staff members - an organizer and a fund raiser - according to Ramona Ripston, its executive director since 1972.

Ripston said the group's senior management team of about seven people took salary cuts of five to 10 percent for the first time since 1979. Staff members, who previously received full health coverage at no cost, have also agreed to begin paying $50 per month for their insurance, she added.

"People come to me on a daily basis and say, 'Will I have a job next week?'" Ripston said. "I just don't know."

No link: the Daily Journal is a pay site. I'm told, by the way, that Daily Journal national editor Jim Adamek has been laid off.

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