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ACLU in midst of $335M fundraising drive

WASHINGTON, June 9 (UPI) -- The American Civil Liberties Union says its $335 million fundraising effort -- its largest ever -- will enhance and secure its advocacy capabilities.

The funds will be used to build the ACLU's infrastructure by raising funds for state affiliates, enhance advocacy abilities and secure the organization's financial future, the ACLU said in a news release.

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More than $258 million already has been raised for the "Leading Freedom Forward: The ACLU Campaign for the Future" campaign, the ACLU said.

"Now is an extraordinary moment for the ACLU, a time when we are positioned both to restore constitutional liberties that have been taken away and extend freedoms to those in our society who have been denied rights for far too long," said Nadine Strossen, campaign co-chair who's nearing the end of her 18-year tenure as ACLU president.

One campaign goal is to increase the capacity of its affiliates, particularly in states where civil liberties are challenged often and opportunities for change are most promising, the ACLU said. Smaller affiliates will receive increased resources enabling them to hire full-time attorneys and institute new advocacy programs, among other initiatives.

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