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Photo of volunteer Nick Crocker

Nick Crocker: Getting Informed, Staying Involved

The ACLU of Washington has a team of all-star volunteers who staff the front desk for us. We would like you to meet some of them.

Nick Crocker attended an ACLU-WA forum on militarization of police a couple years ago and heard Seattle police chief Norm Stamper speak on the war on drugs and criminal justice in our state. When he went home, he “got online and got involved.” Nick already had Mondays off from his work at an Italian food import store, so he decided spend his day off volunteering at the ACLU office. He has continued to do so for the past two years.

It is “the prohibition of drugs and how counterproductive it is” that got Nick interested in the social and legal issues facing our state. He regards the drug war as a waste of time and money that also is detrimental to our society. He points to the fact that the US has 5% of the world’s population, but 25% of its prisoners. This level of incarceration is crazy, he says, and it has lasting impacts on those prosecuted as well as on their families; and the effect is long-lasting, often limiting people’s ability to get a job or housing. Like the ACLU, he thinks the money spent on catching, prosecuting and imprisoning for minor drug offenses could be much better used to treat rather than incarcerate.

A University of Washington graduate in Sociology, Nick would like to get involved in research and policy work related to this issue. For now, he is happy tasting all of the pasta and olive oil in his work at Ritrovo’s, and keeping informed and involved by working at the ACLU. As he has worked at the front desk, helped with mailings, and read ACLU emails and information, Nick has “discovered that all of the ACLU issues are kind of connected. They’re all important, education, criminal justice, and everything in between is all tied together.” It is like the Seahawks drum line that he plays on: Each drum part is important, but it is only when the rhythms are combined, or the issues tackled in combination, that you can get harmony.

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