Monday, June 16, 2014

We hope to see you at the ACS Convention!

Here's a friendly reminder that later this week the 2014 ACS National Convention will take place in Washington, DC.  If you're attending, we encourage you to check out the plenary panel at 2pm on Friday June 20th, Beyond a Broken Beltway: State Courts, Legislatures and Cities as Venues for Progressive Change, featuring ALICE's Nick Rathod talking about developments in state and local policy.

Here's the panel description:

State courts, legislatures and municipal governments are becoming increasingly important forums for achieving progressive change as obstruction in Congress and the Supreme Court’s conservative majority make action difficult at the federal level. State courts play a vital role shaping the law on voting rights, criminal justice, environmental and human rights issues, and often have the last word on who votes and wins elections, goes to jail or faces the death penalty, drinks clean water and can get married. State legislatures and municipal governments also are leading the way in promoting economic equality via increases in the minimum wage and other innovative approaches. But the same forces blocking progress at the federal level also pose threats at the state and local level. Almost all state court judges stand for election, and after Citizens United, waves of special interest money have flooded into those elections, threatening the fairness and impartiality of state courts. The American Legislative Exchange Council controls a lavishly funded network of state legislators dedicated to turning back the clock at the state and local level. This panel will examine opportunities and challenges presented by these efforts to achieve progress beyond the Beltway and how progressives can play an active role in the struggle. 



Dennis Herrera, City Attorney, San Francisco 

Scott Lemieux, Professor of Political Science, The College of St. Rose 

Nick Rathod, Executive Director, American Legislative and Issue Campaign Exchange (ALICE) 

Thomas A. Saenz, President and General Counsel, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) 

Joanna Shepherd, Associate Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law 

Jo-Ann Wallace, President and CEO, National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) 

Maya Wiley, Counsel to the Mayor, City of New York

Also, check the full convention program for talks by Ohio state representative Kathleen Clyde; Keenan R. Keller, Senior Democratic Counsel for the House Judiciary Committee; and Gabe Rottman, who is Legislative Counsel and Policy Advisor at the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office.

If you're going to the convention, be sure to stop by the ALICE Happy Hour on Friday, June 20th from 6-8pm. We’ll be at PJ Clarke’s, 1600 K Street NW.  We’ll have drinks and light food on hand, and we'd love to meet you or catch up.  Join us!

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