CHICAGO (CBS) — Membership at the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois has skyrocketed since November, when Donald Trump was elected president.
ACLU of Illinois spokesman Ed Yohnka said, since Election Day, membership more than doubled to more than 50,000 people. Registration for the group’s weekly “Action Alert” email has more than tripled to 100,000.
Yohnka said Trump’s election has awakened those who oppose him, just as the Tea Party grew out of opposition to President Barack Obama’s election in 2008.
“What we’re really looking at here is an attack on people, and that people are going to have to come together and stick together; and I think it’s, whether it’s the ACLU or other organizations, I think they’re looking to us as to be the people who are going to lead that fight,” he said.
When it comes to challenging Trump’s policies, Yohnka said the ACLU is “running a marathon here and really all we’ve done is put on our gym shoes, so far. We’ve got a long way to go.”
Yohnka said membership and interest in the ACLU has spiked every time Trump has done or said anything, whether signing the controversial travel ban targeting seven predominantly Muslim countries, or rolling back the Obama administration’s guidelines on bathroom access for transgender students in public schools.
“With every iteration, with every new thing that happens, with everything that occurs, with each and every action from White House and from Congress, we see an increased outpouring of support,” he said.