Chief of Progressive Gives $7 Million to ACLU

Chief of Progressive Gives $7 Million to ACLU
Posted by FoM on July 20, 2001 at 21:30:47 PT
By The Associated Press
Source: Associated Press
The top executive of Progressive Corporation has donated $7 million to the American Civil Liberties Union. Officials say it's the largest gift ever by an individual. Peter Lewis earmarked $5 million of yesterday's grant for the organization's drug-policy litigation project, which is challenging such practices as drug testing in schools and restrictions on medical marijuana. The ACLU of Ohio Foundation and the national ACLU received a million apiece. 
Lewis is chairman of the auto insurer in the Cleveland suburb of Mayfield. He's been an ACLU member since 1972. He also argues for such issues as providing rehabilitation instead of jail for drug offenders. Lewis was arrested for marijuana possession in January of 2000 in New Zealand. Source: Associated PressPublished: July 19, 2001 Copyright: 2001 Associated PressACLU Press Release Individual Donor Sets Record with $7 Million Donation - Largest-Ever Endowment Gift to ACLUThe American Civil Liberties Union announced today that Peter B. Lewis, chairman of The Progressive Corporation and a long-time ACLU member and donor, has made a gift of $7 million to the Trust for the Bill of Rights, ACLU's endowment fund. The donation is the largest endowment gift from an individual that the ACLU Foundation has ever received, the organization said. "We are inspired by Peter's generous gift and his willingness to assist in meeting Ford's challenge to our organization,” said Anthony D. Romero, who will take office as the new Executive Director of the ACLU in September. “His generosity has increased our endowment fund to nearly $37 million and gives us a boost toward our new goal of a $50 million endowment fund. His leadership insures that the battle for civil liberties of all U.S. residents will continue to be fought in perpetuity,” he added. The ACLU created the Trust for the Bill of Rights endowment fund to help meet unanticipated emergencies, sustain ACLU program quality and ensure the ACLU is strong in all areas of the country. Lewis's gift helped match a $14 million challenge from the Ford Foundation, which had contributed $7 million to the endowment campaign in June 1999. The Lewis gift will support the general programs of the Ohio Affiliate and the national ACLU as well as a special ACLU fund designed to support personal freedoms, including those diminished by the war on drugs. Lewis, an ACLU member since 1972, said that the ACLU does critically important work to protect individual freedoms in this country and that he has been an admirer of this work for years. “I've been impressed by how well-managed the ACLU has been under Ira Glasser's leadership. And, after meeting Anthony Romero, the ACLU's new executive director, I'm confident that they will continue to succeed in protecting our civil liberties in today's challenging environment.” “Their work doesn't seem to have an end; many of these battles have been re-fought by each succeeding generation," added Lewis. “That's why I've invested in the ACLU.” Source: ACLU Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2001 Copyright 2001 The American Civil Liberties UnionWebsite: Articles:Drug Count Against CEO Discharged Walks Free After Being Arrested CannabisNews Articles - Peter Lewis
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on July 23, 2001 at 22:35:30 PT
freedom fighter
Hi freedom fighter,It really is something that he is still alive. When he was hit in Germany by the train, when he was in the Army, the Army made him pay for the destroyed truck that he was in. He was pushed around a bend which put the truck off the side of the track or he wouldn't have made it. They took his paychecks until the truck was paid for. Every week his friends would take up a collection for him so he could have a little money. I hope he lives a long time too. Needless to say he worries me! 
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Comment #8 posted by freedom fighter on July 23, 2001 at 22:28:58 PT
I told my sis to 
get on the ball and change the insurance.. Dang, FoM, after been bitten by a dog, just how many lives your hubby got??? :))))May your hubby live a long life!!In my book, may you and your hubby live a real long life.. We need you!1Peace be with yur family\/ff
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on July 23, 2001 at 12:16:54 PT
Good Idea Kevin
That's a good idea Kevin. I don't think Progressive would want me and my husband or I would consider the same thing. My husband was crushed between a fully loaded steel truck and his truck which was in the service garage at the local truck stop. The driver ( insured by Progressive )left the steel truck, went into the restaurant and the truck ran away ( there's a slope )and pinned my husband between the huge garage door and both semis. It pushed our semi back a few feet. They paid us a lot of money even though the lawyers got most of it. PS: He knows what it's like to be hit by a truck and in Germany when he was in the Army he was hit by a train. He's still ticking though. He also fell out of a moving car as a child and another time was hit by a car and was in a coma for quite a while and came out of it. My husband has 9 lives! Thank Goodness.
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Comment #6 posted by Kevin Hebert on July 23, 2001 at 12:07:47 PT:
Actually... =)
I can't use Progressive in Massachusetts. I just checked. However, I will use them whenever possible, just to show that people who are on our side WILL benefit from that. It's time for the world to learn how unending can be the unparalleled generousity of potheads.
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Comment #5 posted by Kevin Hebert on July 23, 2001 at 12:05:30 PT:
Let's Return The Favor
I am going to use Progressive from now on, and I will send the company a letter explaining why.
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Comment #4 posted by mayan on July 21, 2001 at 19:46:39 PT
$$$Thank $You$$$
Thanks to freedom loving individuals such as Soros & Lewis, this cause now has a fighting chance.Yes, it is good indeed to have some allies with very deep pockets!
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Comment #3 posted by Doug on July 21, 2001 at 11:00:54 PT
Peter Lewis
was one of the backers of Proposition 215 in California and their ilk. At one point he was going to come out of the closet, along with Carl Sagan, for NORML. He was the mystery billionaire busted for carrying marijuana on a plane when it landed in New Zealand last year. It's nice to hear about a billionaire on our side.Hey, if you need auto insurance, you know where to go!
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Comment #2 posted by lookinside on July 21, 2001 at 09:33:22 PT:
hey, CS...
my wife and i just joined the ACLU(something i've wanted todo for a looong time...thanks FoM for posting the website!)we are members of NORML and the OCBC...all of these organizations are fighting the same battle...every dollar helps... although a $20 or $50 contributionwon't make headlines, it all helps...
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Comment #1 posted by CongressmanSuet on July 20, 2001 at 22:00:42 PT
 Peter, what you did was great,...
  the ACLU does good work. The sad part is that they even need to exist. But, at the risk of being forward, may I ask, what would be wrong with giving 3.5 million to them, and 3.5 million to an org. directly related to cannabis reform? Better yet, how about 7 million each? You could swing it, multimillionaire that you are. The ACLU is a checks and balances thing, an unfortunately nescessary thing,We need promotion also. A little cash sent our way goes along way...
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