(Des Moines, IA) – The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Iowa is proud to announce that the 2013 Louise Noun Award will be presented to Joe Enriquez Henry, state director of the Iowa League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).
Enriquez Henry is being honored by the ACLU of Iowa for his role in serving as a plaintiff in the organization’s voter suppression lawsuit against Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz. As state director of Iowa LULAC, he provided critical support to the case, which resulted in a September 2012 injunction that protected the integrity of the November general election in Iowa.
“The injunction kept Schultz from, among other things, sending intimidating letters to registered voters. This prevented a dangerous new way to challenge voters’ eligibility from taking effect. It also forestalled the Secretary’s efforts to gain access to the federal database he plans to use to remove registered Iowa voters,” said Rita Bettis, ACLU of Iowa staff attorney.
Enriquez Henry spent countless hours in the days leading up to the filing of the lawsuit by helping to document the harms that were already taking place because of Schultz’s efforts and by collecting affidavits from new citizens.
ACLU of Iowa Executive Director Ben Stone said Enriquez Henry’s testimony before the Iowa Legislature’s Administrative Rules Committee was “important and persuasive.”
Bettis adds that, “In his role as the leader of Iowa LULAC, he worked alongside the
ACLU of Iowa to win a crucial judgment halting those rules from taking effect. In doing so, LULAC of Iowa helped win an important victory for voting rights and equality in Iowa.”
In addition, the award recognizes Enriquez Henry’s leadership in leading a massive, highly successful LULAC voter registration effort in 2012. This non-partisan effort resulted in the creation of the first-ever database of registered Latino voters in Iowa. That database identified almost 35,000 registered Latino voters by political party, residency and voting history. The information was used for Iowa LULAC’s voter outreach and registration campaign, which, along with the work of other Latino organizations, resulted in several thousand more Latinos in Iowa registering to vote in the November election.
LULAC, founded in 1929, is the oldest Latino civil rights organization in the country.
Enriquez Henry has been a member of LULAC since the 1980s. He co-founded Council 307 in 2011 because he wanted Latinos in Iowa to become part of a national organization that could help them reclaim their spirit. To that end, under Henry’s leadership, LULAC of Iowa has been active in providing voter registration drives and in promoting awareness about language, immigration issues, jobs, education and health care.
“Joe’s leadership of LULAC demonstrates a remarkable and inspiring commitment to ensuring Latinos in Iowa secure equal access to the political process, education and employment opportunities,” said Stone.
Enriquez Henry is also a Des Moines activist who serves on numerous committees to ensure equity and openness in the Des Moines school district.
The Louise Noun Award is named after the distinguished Des Moines activist, philanthropist and former president of the ACLU of Iowa. It is given to those who have made significant contributions or displayed uncommon courage on behalf of civil liberties in the state.
The award will be presented at the ACLU of Iowa’s annual dinner on Saturday, May 4 at the University Club in Iowa City, which starts at 6:00 p.m. Dinner is $50, with lower prices for students and those with limited means. Visit www.aclu-ia.org for more information and to register online. Or email email@example.com or call 515-243-3576, ext. *813.
The ACLU of Iowa is a private, non-partisan organization that fights to advance civil liberties for all. It is the state affiliate of the national American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU prides itself in upholding everyone’s civil liberties, no matter who they are or what they believe. We work to assure the rights of all Iowans—from atheists to devout Christians, from labor unions to businesspeople and more—to make sure the constitutional rights of all are preserved. For more information, please go to www.alclu-ia.org