In a statement, Ty Griffin, ACLU-SLO president, said:
"The San Luis Obispo County chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has informally notified its parent organization, the ACLU of Southern California, that it intends to dissolve. Because there has been no formal notification, neither the local chapter nor ACLU-SC has any further comment at this time."
Liz Schroeder, associate director of ACLU-Southern California, said local ACLU chapters are important because they are the "eyes and ears of a community." Local chapters also lobby local governments and hold forums.
"We sincerely regret that there will no longer be a chapter in San Luis Obispo," said Schroeder. It is not uncommon for local chapters to dissolve and then re-organize, she said. "We don't see this as the end of a San Luis Obispo chapter, we see it as a hiatus."
At this time it's not known what forced the local chapter to dissolve, because it has not formally notified ACLU-SC. ACLU-SLO was especially active in the late 1990s, before local president Hank Alberts died in 2001. Local broadcast host Dave Congalton recently reminisced about Albert.
"He was one of kind," said Congalton. "In 14 years on the radio he was my all-time favorite guest."