ACLU Goes on the Air in Miami

Affiliate: ACLU of Florida
March 7, 2001 12:00 am

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ACLU of Florida
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MIAMI–The first four episodes of a twelve-part television series produced by the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida will began airing this month on WLRN Channel 36 in Miami-Dade County, the ACLU announced today.

The program, “ACLU: Freedom’s Watchdog,” will air three times a week throughout the month, focusing on civil liberties issues that impact South Florida.

“We are pleased to be getting our message out to the general public,” said Howard Simon, Executive Director of the ACLU of Florida. “Many people know of the ACLU but are still unfamiliar with the good work that we do. Through this twelve-part series, we will be able to educate the people of Florida about their rights and how those rights can never be taken for granted.”

The series will explore topics including voting rights, racial profiling, immigration and felony disenfranchisement. The episodes, which will be cast in English, Spanish and Creole, are produced by ACLU of Florida staff, board members and supporters.

The first two episodes will discuss the history and mission of the ACLU, and will feature guests Lida Rodriguez-Taseff, National ACLU Spokesperson for Spanish-language media and John de Leon, President of the ACLU of Florida’s Greater Miami Chapter.

The third show, titled, “Libertad de la Expresión en Miami, (Freedom of Expression in Miami)” will explore First Amendment issues that have been the subject of recent controversy in South Florida. The guests for this episode, which airs in Spanish, are Elena Freyre, Executive Director of the Cuban American Defense League, and Alberto Sarraín, the independent theater director who lost his rehearsal space after signing-on to the ACLU of Florida’s lawsuit challenging Miami-Dade County’s “Cuba Ordinance,” which prevented Cuban artists from performing in Miami.

The fourth program, dealing with students’ rights, will feature discussions on school publications, dress codes and censorship. Randall C. Marshall, ACLU of Florida Legal Director, and Janet McAliley, former Miami-Dade County School Board Member, are interviewed in this episode. Mae Singerman, a student journalist from Miami Beach Senior High School and an ACLU of Florida volunteer intern, will host the show.

ACLU: Freedom’s Watchdog is scheduled to air at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays, 2 p.m. on Wednesdays and 7 p.m. Thursdays during March, April and May on Channel 36, which can be seen on the following cable systems in Miami-Dade: 36 Adelphia, 15 ATT West, 12 Bell South, 26 ATT Miami, 31 ATT Kendall, 32 ATT North, 36 Charter Miami Beach, 36 Charter South Miami.

The ACLU’s educational series is airing under the auspices of the Miami-Dade County Cable Television Access Project (Cable-TAP), a joint venture of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami-Dade County government, and WLRN. The free Cable-TAP productions give non-profit organizations the opportunity to inform viewers about important issues that affect South Florida.

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