THIS NEW AWARD RECOGNIZES KEY IOWANS WHO HAVE LEFT A SIGNIFICANT CIVIL LIBERTIES LEGACY.
Three remarkable Iowa leaders have been named as the first-ever recipients of the ACLU of Iowa Edward S. Allen award, named after the Iowa State University math professor who founded the ACLU of Iowa in 1935. They are Dennis Barnum, Mary Garst, and Art Neu.
The past year marked the passing of all three, who have done much to defend and advance civil liberties for all Iowans. As a result, to recognize them in a fitting way, the ACLU of Iowa created a new award to recognize such individuals, living or deceased.
Jeremy Rosen, executive director of the ACLU of Iowa said, “We created the Edward S. Allen award to ensure that we had the ability to recognize Iowans who are long-time civil liberties heroes. In contrast to our other awards that recognize particular contributions in the year that they are given, the Allen award is only given in years where there are one or more appropriate recipients. While the ACLU of Iowa staff and board work tirelessly to defend civil liberties, we cannot do it alone, and it is important to recognize members of our community who give of their own time to expand and protect civil liberties in our state.
Mary served as ACLU of Iowa board president for several terms in the ‘80s and ‘90s, completing her last term in 1993. She continued to be an active supporter and special solicitor.
Another notable achievement: She raised a clan of daughters who have all been active in the ACLU. Liz and Sarah Garst have both served as board presidents and Rachel has served on the board. All three continue in leadership and advisory roles. Jennifer and Kate also have been appreciated supporters.
Jefferson Bee & Herald publisher and editor Rick Morain, described Neu this way: “I would call him a liberal Republican, a species that has pretty well disappeared from the political scene. Not many western Iowa Republicans are also active members of the American Civil Liberties Union, as was he. Art was adept at conversation, and I would have feared to oppose him during a legislative debate or in the courtroom.”