Former Portsmouth Sen. Chuck Levesque named "Civil libertarian of the year"
|Former Sen. Chuck Levesque in 2010 file photo with Portsmouth Democratic Committee chair Len Katzman.|
Portsmouth's former state rep and senator, Chuck Levesque, was awarded the "Civil Libertarian of the Year" by the RI American Civil Liberties Union (RIACLU) at their annual dinner event at the Providence Biltmore last night.
RIACLU Executive Director Steven Brown told harddeadlines, "For sixteen years in the House and Senate, Chuck Levesque was a passionate advocate for civil liberties. He was never afraid to tackle controversial issues in order to protect the civil rights of all Rhode Islanders."
In a release describing the award, the RIACLU cited Levesque's "long-standing and firm commitment to defending civil liberties" and his legislative record: "He was a long-time cosponsor of marriage equality legislation and bills to expand the rights of domestic partners. He cosponsored the successful 2006 referendum ending the disenfranchisement of ex-felons on parole or probation, as well as a 2009 law removing mandatory minimum sentences for various drug offenses. In 2008, he was among a group of legislators and groups (including the ACLU) who countered a rising anti-immigrant tide with a package of legislation aimed at protecting the civil rights of all people in Rhode Island."
“I am so grateful and honored to be recognized by the ACLU, an organization that doggedly works to defend citizens' freedoms and liberty," Levesque said in a statement. "Sometimes, fighting for civil liberties will make people stand up and cheer, but quite frequently, when you're fighting to prevent the majority from trampling on the minority, it won't make you many friends. We all owe a debt to the ACLU, and the courage and persistence of its staff and members. Whether they win praise or unpopularity, I’ve always been proud to be an ally of theirs."
To learn more about the ACLU, visit their web site: www.riaclu.org.
Full disclosure: I am a card-carrying member of the ACLU, and I serve with Chuck on the Portsmouth Democratic Town Committee. I am immensely proud of our former senator. Go, Chuck.