Lobbyist for the People
Washington DC is overrun with well-paid lobbyists representing powerful interests. For the last seven years, I have lobbied decision makers on behalf of everyday people and marginalized groups, working to rein in powerful interests.
Exposing Wells Fargo’s Criminal Misconduct
In August 2017, I uncovered evidence that Wells Fargo may have intentionally misled Congress about the extent of its illegal practices and broke the story to Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, Gretchen Morgenson — then at the New York Times. The coverage led to renewed Congressional hearings with testimony from Wells Fargo’s CEO, who faced hours of questions centered on my research and advocacy.
Expanding Remedies for Human Rights Abuses
In 2015, I introduced and advanced successful legislation in California to strengthen legal remedies available to survivors of human rights abuses. I testified on behalf of AB 15 in front of the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee – fielding questions for over an hour, and pushing the bill through unanimously when its fate was previously uncertain.
Creating Models for Police Accountability
In 2014, as part of UCLA Law’s International Human Rights Clinic, I partnered with Black Lives Matter co-founder, Patrisse Cullors, to design a civilian review board to oversee the notorious L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and address ongoing abuses. Our team drafted a detailed report examining review boards across the county and policies to ensure real power and accountability. Our final product was presented to the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, which then voted to create the oversight panel. Many of our recommendations are now being implemented.
Ensuring Environmental Equity
In 2012, I organized the Greenlining Institute’s campaign to defeat a dangerous $70 million proposal to store 8 billion cubic feet of natural gas directly beneath an impoverished urban neighborhood in Sacramento, California. In mounting our opposition, I drafted policy letters, gave public speeches to the California Public Utilities Commission, and led high-stakes meetings with the Commissioners who would decide the case.
In a close and hard-fought victory which set crucial statewide precedent, the deciding vote cited my advocacy in her remarks. At Greenlining’s Economic Summit that year, the defeat of this project was highlighted as one of the organization’s six major victories.