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Democrats of the Desert turn out for ACLU Deputy Executive Director James Gilliam


Nearly 250 people packed the clubhouse at Date Palm Country Club in Cathedral City Saturday to

hear an ACLU attorney claim that America's liberties and freedoms are "under attack" within days of Donald Trump becoming President.

James Gilliam, deputy director of the Southern California chapter of the ACLU, pledged that over 300 attorneys from the nation's largest civil rights organization will fight for the rights of immigrants, disabled persons, the LGBT community, Planned Parenthood and womens' health care, and the Affordable Care Act among

other civil rights fights. He indicated that more than $50 million has been raised by the ACLU

in the last few weeks.

Gilliam spoke during the monthly meeting of the Democrats of the Desert organization. Attendance shattered a record for a DOD meeting, and numerous people were turned away because the room was filled to standing room only capacity. The meeting was open to the public without charge.

Priscilla Richardson, president of DOD, said the organization will focus this year on a Commit to Act theme, and encouraged people to follow Gilliam's urging that activists "pick it up" and get involved quickly. Several speakers at the meeting shared information about the huge marches held Jan. 21 across America and the world to protest the Trump administration. Calls were made to get involved in emerging protest groups in the Coachella Valley in particular.

Democrats of the Desert organization is one of a dozen or so Democratic clubs in the Coachella Valley, and is perhaps the largest club, with nearly 300 members. DOD meets the 4th Saturday of each month at 2pm at the Date Palm Country Club clubhouse. Meetings are always open and free to the public. The organization also hosts fundraising activities throughout the year, with its 13th Activist Awards fundraiser and silent auction to be held at Indio's Heritage Palms Country Club on March 26

at 11 am.

More information about DOD can be found at the club's website at


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