Wednesday, April 1, 2009

High Road for Human Rights

In light of the drastic news about the U.S. trying to get a seat on the UN Human Rights Commission, I just had to write about the most incredible human rights advocates I know:

One of the most amazing men I have ever known is a strikingly handsome man - ruggedly so - intensely blue eyes, steely and he can see into your soul and mind - He has to - he is one of Utah's best defense attorneys - an ACLU attorney at that and the former mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah. He is the one and only Ross C. "Rocky" Anderson.

I met him about 7 years ago. I had been sent to help out in his office by my recruiter - a temporary assignment where I could "surely network" myself into something she told me.

I was fortunate to work on his staff as a political appointee for 5 and one half years. It was an amazing time - frenetic, exciting, taxing, emotionally exhausting, exhilarating and so much more inbetween.

My proudest moments with Rocky were during the Olympic Games of 2002 when he designated free speech zones for protestors - when he signed an executive order creating domestic partner benefits for all city staffers - when he went toe to toe with the theocracy that is Utah's legislature to try to get reasonable alcohol laws established - so many other moments and you can read about them at a later date in my book of memoirs of Utah.

It has been a while and he is now a private citizen. True to form, Rocky has established a Human Rights Foundation - High Road for Human Rights.

I saw Rocky recently on Rachel Maddow's show speaking about the new Utah liquor laws - no more private clubs - his legacy lives.

His heart is in civil liberties and human rights - please go to the Nation and read the amazing article about his efforts.

Become a member of the organization - you can do so at minimal cost at their website.

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