Welcome to the Public Rights Project Newsletter! Each month, we’ll keep you up to date with our efforts to empower states and cities to protect the rights and freedoms that define us as Americans. We’ll also share a few articles you may have missed that highlight the importance of state and local government, and how states and cities are picking up the torch to protect our rights.
PUBLIC RIGHTS PROJECT NEWS
We are hiring our second Director of Special Projects! Our current DSP, Ashley Nakai, will be leaving in the Fall to begin law school, so we’re looking for new talent to fill this role!
This is a great job for someone who might be interested in going to law school or other grad school in the future and who wants to be part of every aspect of building a new nonprofit. This includes a little bit of everything, from development assistance, to administrative and budget assistance, to event planning, and more! Most importantly, the role includes a lot of fun with our small but mighty team. If you’ve interned or worked for a campaign (especially in finance or field) this could be a great fit for you.
Please share widely! If you’re interested, get in touch right away. The full job posting can be viewed here.
INAUGURAL FELLOWSHIP CLOSES!
On May 15, 2018, our inaugural fellowship application officially closed! We are overwhelmed by the incredible response we’ve received.
Thank you to everybody who shared the opportunity with their networks, nominated candidates, and applied for our Massachusetts and Oakland placements.
Additional thank you to the fantastic volunteers who visited our office to help us sift through applications, and to the lawyer volunteers who are continuing to participate in the review process.
None of this would be possible without you! Thank you for being part of our PRP family and for your continued support!
2018 CLASS OF SUMMER INTERNS!
This May, we welcomed our first cohort of Summer Interns! Less than a month into their placements, they’re already off to a fantastic start. Get to know the newest members of the PRP team!
Nicole Billington /Legal Intern
Yale Law School
icole Billington is a second-year student at the Yale Law School where she is involved with the Yale Law and Policy Review, American Constitution Society, and Yale Law Students for Reproductive Justice. Prior to law school, Nicole served as a California Senate Fellow with the Senate Committee on Business, Professions, and Economic Development focusing on economic development policy. Nicole then spent a year in Washington, D.C. as the Legislative Director for the California Institute for Federal Policy Research. In that role, she analyzed federal policy for the California Congressional Delegation. Nicole is thrilled to work with the Public Rights Project to assist localities in public rights enforcement.
Sung Choi / Legal Intern
Berkeley Law School
Sung Choi is a second-year student at Berkeley Law School. Previously, Sung was a software engineer on the Hillary for America Tech Team. There, he focused on online voter registration and education. While at Nava Public Benefit Corporation, he contributed to a Medicare technology infrastructure project. Sung graduated from Swarthmore College with a B.A. in Sociology & Anthropology. He subsequently conducted additional research on gender and sexuality as a Fulbright Scholar in Korea.
John Gonzalez / Legal Intern
Yale Law School
John Gonzalez is a second-year student at Yale Law School and a legal intern. At law school, John has been part of the Education Adequacy Project Clinic and a teaching fellow. Before coming to law school, he taught 8th-grade math in New Orleans, where he was awarded the 2016 Achievement Network’s Teacher of the Year award. After teaching, he worked as a hearing representative at a workers’ compensation plaintiff’s firm. In college, John served as the student body president and gave a TEDxYale talk on music education. John earned his B.A. from Yale College and served as a Teach for America corps member in New Orleans.
Nicole Miura / Intern
Nicole is a fourth year at the University of California at Berkeley majoring in both Media Studies and Peace & Conflict Studies. Nicole is passionate about social justice issues as reflected in her experience working at the International Rescue Committee in Oakland and the School of Social Welfare at Berkeley, as well as reflected in her studies. She hopes to continue her education and pursue her professional goals at law school.
Abigail Zhong / Intern
Abigail Zhong is a Junior at UC Berkeley majoring in Economics and minoring in Public Policy. At Berkeley, Abigail works as a Student Coordinator for the Student Learning Center's Economics Program. She also interns at the Asian Pacific American Student Development Center, working to raise civic engagement in API communities and promote API mental health on campus. In her free time, Abigail volunteers with Friends of Orange County Detainees and Prison Literacy Project.
JILL HABIG SPEAKS TO ICM GUESTS AT THE 2018 UNITED STATES OF WOMEN SUMMIT
Find out more about the work ICM is doing to promote gender equality here!
ICM Partners’ Hannah Linkenhoker joins speakers Sally Smith (Nexus Fund), April Grayson (ARC), Jill Habig (Public Rights Project), Caroline Edwards (ICM Partners), and political commentator Carri Twigg on the carpet at the official after party of the United State of Women Summit, presented by ICM Partners. Jill spoke about Public Rights Project’s work to empower state and local government to a room full of women leaders, activists, lawyers, and entrepreneurs.
PRP JOINS ACS PANEL ON THE REFORM PROSECUTOR MOVEMENT
Earlier this month, PRP Founder and President Jill Habig joined the ACS Bay Area: The Reform Prosecutor Movement panel to discuss the possibilities and challenges faced by progressive prosecutors fighting to use a proactive, rational and equity-promoting approach to criminal justice. Jill was joined by Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Justice Director Michael Troncoso, SF Sheriff Department Asst. Chief Legal Counsel Suzy Loftus, and Criminal Justice Reform Consultant Hillary Blout.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...
TIP FOR MORTGAGE LENDERS AND COMPLIANCE OFFICERS: A WEAKER CFPB MEANS STRONGER STATE REGS
Recently, 17 state attorneys general sent a letter to CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney expressing their desire to see a more aggressive attitude from the agency. States like California, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania now see a need to ramp up efforts to fill the gap left by the federal agency. They are signaling their intent to fill regulatory "voids" left by the CFPB. Read on for more analysis (and see why PRP is so excited to partner with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office and the Oakland City Attorney’s Office for our inaugural fellowship placements)!
Read more via HousingWire
SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS WORKPLACE ARBITRATION CONTRACTS BARRING CLASS ACTIONS
A recent Supreme Court case offers a stark example of why our work to help state and local prosecutors enforce our rights is so urgent. In a 5-4 opinion, the Supreme Court ruled that companies can use arbitration clauses in employment contracts to prohibit workers from banding together to take legal action over workplace issues. This decision could affect 25 million employment contracts. It means that millions of workers will be limited in protecting their rights from violations by their employers. Fortunately, state and local prosecutors can still protect your rights in court, but they need resources to do it.
Read more via NY Times