Before becoming the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, Witold Walczak spent 12 years as the executive director of the Pittsburgh chapter. Still working primarily out of Pittsburgh, Mr. Walczak helped stop the state's voter identification law from taking effect before the 2012 presidential election.
Q: What's your New Years resolution for your office?
Walczak: We've been short staffed for much of the year and we'll get fully staffed at the end of February. One of the things we want to do is broaden the ACLU's reach into areas of Pennsylvania where we have not had a significant presence. Our cases really come to us based on complaints, someone has to know to contact the ACLU. But there are many areas of Pennsylvania, especially rural areas, where people just don't know about the ACLU. When their civil liberties are violated, they think there's nothing they can do and nobody they can turn to for help. The ACLU doesn't charge for its services and while we can't take every case, we can take most serious cases. But if we don't know about them, we cant take them.
For the full Q&A, visit the PG's Ipso Facto blog at http://communityvoices.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/news/ipso-facto.