NLG-LA 2019 Board of Directors Ballot
Please fill out this ballot for the National Lawyers Guild election for the 2019 Executive Board. You may vote for as many or as few of the following candidates as you wish. To cast your vote simply check either “YES” or“NO” found below the candidate’s name and identifying information. Candidates receiving more “YES” than “NO” votes will have been elected.

For your vote to count it must be received in the Chapter’s office no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 25, 2019. We will approve the incoming board at our February Executive Board meeting.

*Note: Only dues-paying Guild members may vote in board elections.

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"YES" to All Candidates
Select "Yes" here if you would like to vote to approve all of the board candidates. If you select this option, you do not need to vote on individual candidates below.
Brigit Alvarez
Immigration attorney for Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA); current NLG-LA board member; active in NLG National Immigration Project.
Renee Amador
Renee Amador works as Legal Director for KIWA Workers for Justice. She practiced workers' rights law at Alexander Krakow and Glick LLP, and she worked as an attorney with the Wage Justice Center and UC Irvine Immigrants Rights Clinic. She sits on the board of the Wage Justice Center, and she has been involved with the Guild since law school.
Cynthia Anderson-Barker
Civil rights lawyer; former Chapter president; criminal defense attorney for political protesters; leader of our “reform car towing policy” campaign.
Bear Allen-Blaine
My name is Bear Allen-Blaine and I am born and raised in Los Angeles. Living here my entire life, I embrace the opportunity to further serve my community and continue my fight against injustice by becoming a board member of NLG-LA. I am passionate, open-hearted, and love to help others. I am focused on equity, transparency, and radical change.
Jenn Canales
Jennefer has advocated for immigrant rights from the age of 11 when she advocated for her father to the President at the time, George W. Bush. Although her father was ultimately deported, she learned that emotions alone aren't enough and you need legal authority behind your word. Since then, Jennefer has dedicated her life and career to ensuring that no one else experiences the trauma she felt at the age of 11. Jennefer graduated from Occidental College with a BIA in Sociology and from Southwestern Law School. Throughout her time at Southwestern, Jennefer was involved with ICE out of LA, worked with various immigration non-profits in the area, and worked for EOIR Los Angeles. Jennefer is a returning NLG board member and is currently a Removal Defense Attorney with CHIRLA.
Erin Darling
Former Co-President of the chapter. Leading housing rights attorney. Does a great deal of legal observing.
Pat Dunlevy
Retired public interest attorney and longtime Guild member; believes in working for the Guild as a way to build a better, more just society; would like to work on the local chapter's Housing and Development committees; looks forward to working with new and continuing Board members and the new Executive Director.
Colleen Flynn
Civil rights lawyer; current member of the NLG/LA Executive Board; lawyer for those arrested in political protests, and frequent legal observer.
Noah Grynberg
Noah is a co-director of LACCLA. He is a 2012 graduate of Harvard Law School, where he was a canvassing coordinator and board member of Project No One Leaves and a student advocate with Harvard’s Tenant Advocacy Project (TAP). He also served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review. Prior to co-founding LACCLA, Noah was a law clerk on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
Barbara Hadsell
Former Chapter president; partner, Hadsell & Stormer, specializing in civil rights and international human rights litigation; current member of the NLG/LA Executive Board.
Maria Hall
Current board co-president; solo practice lawyer working in civil rights, housing rights and employment rights; active with Mexican American Bar Foundation (“MABF”); runs Los Angeles Incubator Consortium (LAIC), a post-graduate program that supports and assists law school graduates in starting their own solo practice
Dr. Jill Humphries
Dr. Humphries currently works as Assistant Professor at Bahir Dar University. She helped to found the NLG-LA Legal Observer Committee, as well as its Black and People of African Descent Task Force. Dr. Humphries is a multi-disciplinary Solutions Based Consultant with 25-years extensive experience designing and implementing solutions that resolve operational inefficiencies in public, private and nonprofit institutions. As an analyst & scholar activist, Dr. Humphries has served as consultant on legal, public administration, public health, and/or environmental initiatives in United States, Zimbabwe, and the Caribbean.
Betty Hung
Betty Hung is a former co-president of the NLG-LA chapter and is a long-time civil rights lawyer who specializes in law and organizing to support grassroots organizing and the leadership of those most directly impacted. She recently worked with the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival to expose the evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, and ecological devastation and to reclaim the moral narrative and agenda in this nation. She currently works for the UCLA Labor Center.
Una Lee Jost
Una Lee Jost is a Pasadena-based attorney, serving the legal needs of CA nonprofit organizations and small businesses. Ms. Jost received her J.D. from Loyola Law School (2001) and her B.A. from UC Riverside (1998). Since 2016, Una has been honored to work alongside dedicated advocates, organizers and leaders on grassroots campaigns in support of economic dignity, immigration integration, criminal justice reform, a peace economy, election integrity, and climate justice. Her community engagement includes serving as a Steering Committee member of the Progressive Asian Network for Action; faith leader of LA Voice; Legislative Advocacy Chair of a local school PTA Board; and Board member of the Christian Legal Aid of Los Angeles. She would be honored to be part of the work of the NLG-LA in helping create a society that puts human rights over property interests to reflect the dignity of all people!
Kathy Khommarath
Kathy Khommarath is currently a staff attorney and program manager for the Southwestern Legal Clinics’ Pro Bono Removal Defense Program, funded by the Los Angeles Justice Fund. She is also an adjunct professor at Southwestern Law School. Hailing from the San Gabriel Valley, Kat grew into her political identity as a Southeast Asian American woman during college at Loyola Maryount University, and continued her activism after she graduated, becoming a community organizer with API Equality-LA. She then attended Southwestern Law School, where she became hyper-active in her school’s NLG chapter, attempting to organize law students to join the fight for human rights. After law school, Kat became a staff attorney at CHIRLA, focusing on immigrants’ rights issues and representing low-income immigrants in their affirmative and defensive immigration cases. After having her first child, she switched gears somewhat and became a staff attorney for Southwestern’s newly funded Pro Bono Removal Defense Program. Soon after joining the Southwestern Legal Clinics team, she was invited to co-teach the school’s first ever Removal Defense Clinic, starting in the Spring 2019 semester. She is a past president of the Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance (APAWLA), and is currently active in the NLG-LA Immigration Committee.
Carol Kim
As a public interest lawyer, I worked to protect the rights of tenants and workers, and continue to do so in private practice. In addition, I'm an active member of the Guild and have served on the Dinner Committee in the past.
Jim Lafferty
Executive Director Emeritus of National Lawyers Guild LA; served as Executive Director for 27 years; active in ANSWER coalition; has been active in civil rights, anti-imperialism and anti-capitalism movements for nearly half a century; host of weekly Lawyers Guild radio show on KPFK.
Mike Lee
Has been a member since 1971. Ex Public Defender from Los Angeles County. Wants to help develop criminal defense educational programs and encourage members to do defense work. Has been active since 1965 in anti-racist, anti-imperialist, and other movements.
Martin Lijtmaer
Immigration and criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles.
Pasquale Lombardo
I would like to continue working on the Board and am interested in trying to get our chapter membership, especially our law students, more involved in the work of the Guild, including in our committees. I practice immigration law and I am very active on our Immigration Committee.
Emi MacLean
Emi MacLean is a staff attorney with the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) and an adjunct professor with the Immigrant Rights Clinic at the University of California at Irvine. She has previously worked as a legal officer with the Open Society Justice Initiative, focused largely on freedom of information and expression; a staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights in the organization's Guantanamo Global Justice Initiative; and with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, or Doctors without Borders) as the deputy head of mission for MSF’s HIV/AIDS care and treatment project in South Africa, as the U.S. director of the MSF Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines, and as the Coordinator of an emergency project responding to xenophobic violence in South Africa. Ms. MacLean received her Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center (2006) and her B.A. from Harvard University (2001).
Stephano Medina
Stephano Medina is the son of Ecuadorean immigrants and a lifelong Angeleno. Before attending law school at UCLA, he worked as a community organizer in Los Angeles and the Bay Area around housing and labor campaigns. Currently, he serves as Co-Chair of the UCLA Student Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and is active in housing advocacy in LA. His history with the Guild began when he was represented by Guild attorneys after a protest in 2014 and attended his first national conference this past November in Portland.
Robert Myers
Former Santa Monica City Attorney; education lawyer and capital defender; former Treasurer of the LA/NLG Chapter; current board member of Chapter.
Eva Nagao
Eva Nagao is dedicated to movement building both inside and outside prison walls. She has a long history of working with grassroots groups organizing against the prison industrial complex in Chicago—as a board member with the Chicago Freedom School, Project Nia, and a founding member of Liberation Library. She currently works as a freelance designer and small business communications consultant and is involved with Critical Resistance in the campaign against prison expansion and as a volunteer with Survived and Punished, supporting mass defense projects of criminalized survivors. Working with the Guild, Eva is a regular legal observer and LO committee member, as well as part of the 2019 Dinner Committee.
Victor Narro
Past Co-president of the Chapter; Director of Program at the UCLA Downtown Labor Center; long-time immigrants’ rights and workers’ rights advocate.
Brenda Navarro
Brenda Navarro is a staff attorney at the Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA). At the age of two, Brenda emigrated from Mexico. Raised in the city of Compton, her amazing immigrant parents instilled in her the true meaning of hard work. Brenda is the first in her family to pursue a higher education and has dedicated herself to serving underprivileged communities. She earned her B.A. in political science at Mount Saint Mary's University. At Southwester, Brenda worked with organizations such as Human Rights First, Public Counsel, KIND and National Lawyers Guild. Brenda will continue to pursue her goal of uplifting her community by becoming an immigration attorney.
Daniel "Sandino" Navarro
Public defender in Los Angeles
Ben O'Donnell
Ben is a labor attorney and is involved with the NLG's Workers' Rights Committee. He has been a Guild member since law school, and has served on the board of the LA chapter since 2016. Ben remains committed to organizing workers to assert their economic power and obtain fair working conditions.
Olu Orange
Current Board member: I’d like to serve again because the LA/NLG is an important feature of the western region civil rights landscape and service on the Board enables me to assist in coordinating support and protection for the efforts of civil rights activists.
Sri Panchalam
Former Co-President. has worked with the Inner city Law Center and with the Disability Rights Legal Center; frequently legal observes.
Cristina Pineda
Cristina Pineda - currently a 3L and NLG Southwestern's President. I have served on Southwestern's NLG board since 1L year. In March 2018, I moderated the Prison Pipelines panel at the UCLA Liberation Lawyering Conference. Last summer I interned at the ACLU in New York working with the Racial Justice Project. I will be interning with LA Public Defender's office during the Spring Semester. Although still a law student, the NLG has been fundamental to my development as a law student and it has been a great privilege to be part of this organization.
Eric Post
Current Board member. Employed at Public Counsel. Works with the Guild’s national housing rights project and plays leading role in Chapter’s work on housing rights issues.
Morgan Ricketts
I love the history and mission of the NLG and want to help continue to make it great! We have built up a lot of momentum lately thanks to the tireless efforts of our fearless Executive Director, and I'd love to help capitalize on that momentum by helping to double our membership within two years. I will help plan and attend recruiting events and make sure that new members feel welcome, feel they have found a group of kindred spirits, and believe they are getting something of measurable value out of being a member of the NLG (mentorship, list serve in their area of practice, networking, referrals, etc). More members means more funding and more areas of focus - in turn, attracting more members!
Gilbert Saucedo
Current Co-president of the Chapter; active member of the Chapter’s Bill Smith Military Resistance Project; member, Chapter’s Arrest Response Committee; active member of Chapter’s Towing Reform Campaign.
Dickran Sevlian
Current Board member. Active on behalf of a wide variety of Chapter projects, including legal observing.
Tarek Shawky
Tarek is a solo practice criminal defense attorney and former public defender in LA and Riverside counties. Tarek is a member of the Muslim Bar Association, Arab American Bar, NLG, ACLU Foothill Branch and Pasadena Committee for Civilian Police Oversight.
Jay Shin
Attorney with Wage Justice Center; also works with Law Offices of Elena Popp, defending tenants in eviction cases; legal observer; creator of the Chapter’s Pre-Law School Seminar.
Gary Silbiger
Former president of the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild; founder of the NLG’s Immigration Project; immigration attorney in private practice and a long-time City Council member in Culver City, California; member, Chapter’s Immigration Committee, seek closer working relationship with various bar associations.
Helen Sklar
I have always liked the idea of doing political work. For that reason, law school didn’t hold much interest for me until I found immigration law, which in my mind is manifestly political. Over the years I have been an NLG lawyer, which is most of them, I have wanted to see more immigration lawyers join and be active in the LA Chapter. As one of just a few practicing immigration lawyers involved in the chapter as a whole, I wanted to be a catalyst for building a stronger immigration presence. Having immigration lawyers stay within the confines of an immigration committee does not expose the Chapter leadership and membership to the issues and struggles faced by immigration practitioners and their clients. There have been small gains, but we need to do more, and now is a good time to reach out to immigration lawyers with the message that the NLG stands ready to resist the hate driven attacks on immigrants and refugees, and their participation is needed to wage an effective struggle. I have given some thought to how to draw immigration lawyers to the NLG, not simply as dues paying members, but as active members. Greater participate in the NLG would be good for the immigration bar, good for the NLG, and good for immigrants. These topics require discussion and action, so anyone interested in such an effort, let me know when you would like to get started.
Carol Sobel
Civil rights and civil liberties lawyer; former NLG/LA Chapter President; former Co-chair of the national Guild’s Mass Defense Committee.
Phal Sok
Phal is an organizer for the Youth Justice Coalition (YJC), a Los Angeles-based non-profit organization devoted to challenging race, gender and class inequality in California’s juvenile and criminal justice systems.
Ira Spiro
I have been the dean of Peoples College of Law since May, 2017. I taught at PCL from 2011 to 2018. Since 2000 I have represented employees in class actions for unpaid wages and other violations of employment law. I have been a legal aid lawyer and a deputy public defender. I have attended most of our Chapter’s Board of Directors meetings for the past 12 months or so.
Rachel Steinback
Rachel is a solo practitioner focusing on criminal defense, juvenile delinquency, and civil rights litigation involving police misconduct, jail & prison reform, and wrongful convictions. She currently serves on the NLG-LA Board and also on the Board of the Uptown People's Law Center, a leading prisoners' rights advocacy organization based in Chicago. She has dedicated her career to advocating for vulnerable and oppressed populations, first as a policy advisor to U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and, after law school, at the Chicago-based civil rights firm Loevy & Loevy. She has been involved with the Guild since law school and loves the opportunity it provides to learn from and collaborate with people who work within and outside the areas in which she practices.
Dan Stormer
I have been a Guild member for over 4 decades and it is my proudest association. My work for the entire period of my career has been focused on civil rights, international human rights, and issues of discrimination. I would like to serve on the Board simply because it allows me to assist in some of the most progressive legal analysis and work one could ever hope to be associated with. I have previously been a Board member and President of the LA Chapter and a Board member and President of another chapter before coming to LA.
Ian Stringham
Ian is a lawyer and recent law school graduate. He is the founder of California Legal Research, a nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to law libraries in California's prisons and jails.
Matt Strugar
Current Board member; former attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York City; worked as an attorney for PETA; runs solo practice law office; very active in defense of Occupy LA.
Karen Suri
Karen Suri is an attorney who lives and practices in Los Angeles, California. She is a Certified Family Law Specialist, and handles cases such as divorce, custody, visitation, support, and domestic violence. She opened her own law office in order to provide affordable, quality legal services to the Southern California area. She is also a Board Member of the non-profit organization Community Lawyers, Inc. located in Compton, CA where she volunteers to provide assistance with family law cases.
Kim Tellez
General all-around trouble maker, activist, and seasoned legal observer. I'm running for the board because I think it's important for the Guild to have the perspective of non-lawyers.
Laurie Traktman
Partner in Gilbert & Sackman, union-side law firm; current NLG/LA Executive Board member and V.P. for Membership; and co-producer of the Chapter’s weekly public affairs radio show, The Lawyers Guild Show.
Julia Vázquez
Julia Vázquez is a clinical law professor and immigrant rights attorney. As a woman of color and fist generation lawyer from a working-class immigrant background, she works to empower the next generation of lawyers dedicated to social justice. Her long time goal, to recruit and uplift new NLG members of color and first generation legal advocates, continues to define her role as an NLG board member.
Jenny Villegas
Jenny Villegas is a migrant justice community organizer at the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN-LA). Jenny’s work revolves around solidarity building with displaced communities across borders. She leads CARECEN’s Refugee Project whose goal is to address the refugee crisis and forced migration occurring in Central America envisioning and working towards a world free of immigration enforcement and imprisonment.
Kaimi Wenger
Kaimi Wenger is a Senior Staff Attorney for Inner City Law Center (ICLC), where he works on the tenant defense team. Prior to ICLC, Kaimi worked as a tenured law professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law (TJSL), where he taught Critical Race Theory (CRT), as well as several business and writing courses. He has published widely on civil rights topics.
Xiyun Yang
Xiyun Yang works as a staff attorney for Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking, Los Angeles (CAST-LA). Before becoming a lawyer, Xiyun worked as a correspondent for the New York Times. She is tri-lingual and is fluent in English, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.
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