Thursday, December 31, 2009
NY Office Secures Talented New Director
Happy New Year to all of Appleseed's partners and supporters! With 2010 just hours away, the New York Office is celebrating the successful launch over the past year of several landmark projects under the leadership of outgoing director Jennifer Ching, as well as the entrance of her successor, David Tipson.
"Replacing the irreplaceable Jenn was a daunting prospect for us," said Betsy Cavendish, executive director of Appleseed. "But David's impressive background and proven commitment to social justice leave no doubt that the New York Office will continue to produce innovative, life-changing work."
With Ching to continue her service to low-income populations as the director of Queens Legal Services, Tipson officially begins on February 1. In the meantime, he and Ching are working together to ensure a smooth transition.
Tipson's legal and professional experience cover everything from program creation and legal research to fundraising and volunteer management. As an attorney at the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law for the past three and a half years, he has accumulated a wealth of knowledge relating to community development, disaster recovery and housing issues, expertise that is particularly germane to heir property, one of Appleseed's key projects.
Inspired by leaders of African American communities on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Tipson created the Lawyers' Committee's Heirs' Property Initiative in 2006 and has managed it since that time. That program, which connected him to several Appleseed project leaders, deployed nearly 100 volunteer attorneys to provide legal representation to low-income individuals seeking to clear title to land and has unlocked nearly $1.8 million in grants for these landowners.
Tipson will apply his proven skills as a writer, legal researcher and coalition builder to several ongoing programs launched by Ching during her tenure at the NY Office. A few highlights:
Removing barriers to the New York Earned Income Tax Credit, the state's largest anti-poverty program, for self-employed and cash-earning workers
Ensuring due process for the unrepresented by launching a volunteer lawyer program to provide legal advice and assistance to consumer debt litigants
Expanding health care access for immigrants through innovative public-private partnerships and local advocacy for insurance plan and program extensions
Promoting immigrant consumer empowerment by developing and distributing financial literacy materials in Haitian-Creole, leading trainings for over 150 community leaders, and developing a model community investment fund led by hometown associations
Appleseed is delighted that this impressive list of projects will be passed into such capable hands. Please join us in thanking Ching for her brilliant service and welcoming Tipson to the Appleseed network!