Kelly Moore, the ACLU of Connecticut’s new policy counsel, will work toward justice and liberty by performing legislative policy research, analysis, and advocacy. As an attorney and previous research editor of the Florida Law Review, Kelly was the president of a legal research and writing consulting firm, worked in private practice, and has worked as an organizer on criminal justice and immigrants’ rights initiatives.
She sat down recently with Meghan Holden, the ACLU of Connecticut’s communications director, to talk about her long history of loving the ACLU, the somewhat behind-the-scenes role that she will play at the ACLU of Connecticut, and her not-so-behind-the-scenes appearance on a TV show.
MH: Welcome, Kelly! We’re glad you’re here. First, why did you want to work for the ACLU of Connecticut?
KM: I’ve been a card-carrying member of the ACLU since I was in college, in undergrad, so this is a place I feel deeply attached to, and respectful and reverent of. I just think that there has been a long period of time prior to 2016 when the ACLU was fighting the good fight and really protecting our civil rights and liberties and people weren’t paying attention, and now it’s an organization that a lot of people have remembered does great work. So, it’s a really exciting time to be coming to it.
MH: Can you talk a little about what you’ll be doing in your job as policy counsel?
KM: So, the way I conceptualize it, I’ll be doing the technical work of legislative advocacy. So, thinking about the strategic ways to pass good, forward-looking legislation, doing research, analyzing bills, creating relationships with partners, all the kind of behind the scenes work that supports good public policy that could make the lives of all people in Connecticut better.
MH: Are there any ACLU of Connecticut issues that you have a particularly strong affinity for?
KM: I’m really invested in the work of ending mass incarceration. My family is justice-impacted, so it’s personal to me. But [ending mass incarceration] is also something that is really necessary to make our society function as well as it can. I also love free speech issues, and I’m a woman, so women’s rights issues are also near and dear to my heart.
MH: What’s one thing that people might be surprised to learn about you?
KM: This is so embarrassing to admit, but I am a former Jeopardy! contestant.
MH: Are you really?!
KM: Yes. I did not win, let’s be really clear, I came in second. My episode aired on my twenty-ninth birthday, and so that was a great experience. I love all things trivia.
MH: Do you remember any of the questions?
KM: Oh yeah. I had a whole category on what the kids from The Brady Bunch would be when they grew up, their careers. I had a category on racecars (not in my trivia wheelhouse), and final jeopardy was a question about the periodic table of elements. The man who ended up winning was an environmental scientist – I am an attorney – so a little bit of a knowledge mismatch there.
MH: Is there anything else that you want to add?
KM: I’m so excited to be here and to help the ACLU of Connecticut create great policy for Connecticut.