MIAMI - The ACLU of Florida announced last Thursday that Executive Director Tiffani Lennon has resigned in order to return to Colorado to direct a new LGBTQ+ advocacy center. Former ACLU of Florida Executive Director Howard Simon will return as Acting Interim Executive Director as a nationwide search for a permanent Executive Director is conducted.
Under Ms. Lennon’s leadership, the ACLU of Florida continued to advocate for voting rights, opposition to state-sanctioned discrimination against LGBTQ+ people, and challenged the efforts by the state legislature to attack safe, accessible, and legal abortion.
Howard Simon returns for an interim period, having retired as the ACLU of Florida’s Executive Director in 2018, after serving for 21 years in that position. Under Simon’s leadership, the ACLU of Florida successfully defended civil rights and liberties from assaults by the Florida legislature and many Governors.
Simon led the affiliate’s work to successfully change the system by which the people of Florida vote, following the chaos of the 2000 Bush-Gore election, fought back against attacks on abortion access, restrictions on voting rights, efforts to impose a regime of drug testing on state employees, and applicants for temporary assistance, and helped to end the ban on adoptions and secured the right to marry for LGBTQ+ people. In his last year as Executive Director, the ACLU of Florida was instrumental in getting Florida’s historic Amendment 4, an effort to end the system of lifetime felon disfranchisement, on the ballot and adopted by the voters of Florida.
ACLU of Florida Board President Eric Smaw stated: “We are immensely grateful to Tiffani for her stewardship of the ACLU of Florida during a difficult period. She demonstrated integrity and fortitude in helping the affiliate address long-standing problems on the former Board of Directors.”
Simon will begin serving as Acting Interim Executive Director immediately. “I have loved retirement but am eager to help the ACLU of Florida through this leadership transition,” he stated. “Florida needs a strong ACLU. We must do everything in our power to help the people of Florida resist a wave of unprecedented attacks on our most fundamental civil rights and liberties.”