Eli Baumwell

Eli Baumwell

Eli Baumwell is the advocacy director for American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia. He helps manage ACLU-WV's political advocacy efforts and develop its policy platform and priorities. He works closely with other advocacy and community outreach staff members to direct campaigns for federal, state and local policy efforts.

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Religion doesn’t belong in public schools

By: - November 16, 2023

It’s a lesson that school officials can learn the easy way or the hard way: Schoolhouses are not churches. The actions of two West Virginia school systems in recent months illustrate this quite clearly. Both school systems erred by forcing religious views onto a captive audience of students, but one chose costly litigation while the […]


Censorship of books puts West Virginia students at a disadvantage

By: - October 5, 2023

It’s tempting to think of the so-called Kanawha Textbook Wars as a relic from the past, but this Banned Books Week, we should ask ourselves just how far we’ve come since 1974.  That year, pro-censorship forces descended on the Kanawha Valley to gin up outrage over multicultural textbooks in public schools. Buses were shot, the […]

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WV State Board of Education should clarify signs supporting LGBTQ+ students are not political

By: - September 15, 2023

What makes an issue “political?” What makes it “divisive?” The answer impacts the free speech rights of thousands of West Virginians.  Teachers, like students, do not lose their First Amendment protections when they enter a school. This is a right the ACLU is proud to have protected for more than 70 years. However, there are […]


Government can’t punish the poor out of West Virginians

By: - August 17, 2023

If punishment were a successful deterrent to poverty, there would be no poor people in West Virginia.  And yet, policymakers continue to cling to the notion they can punish the poor out of people rather than providing the kind of support that will actually lift people out of poverty.   Rather than providing low-barrier housing, we […]