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Ana Torres

  • Hosted by Roger Baldwin Foundation of American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois
  • Sponsored by Lisa Foster and Alan Bersin
  • Service location Chicago, Illinois
  • Law school The John Marshall Law School
  • Issue area Civil Rights/Civil Liberties
  • Fellowship class year 2019
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Ana will advocate for people of color undergoing a cycle of poverty and debt due to government policies such as Chicago’s punitive vehicle impoundment practices, which impose excessive financial penalties and other barriers to success.

Chicago’s vehicle impoundment practices, which demand unaffordable fines and daily-accruing storage fees for the vehicle’s return, disparately impact low-income Black and brown communities. Without a vehicle, owners often lose their means of livelihood, become unable to provide for their families, and incur unmanageable debt. In this way, impoundment contributes to the poverty cycle in these communities. This project will provide direct client services and use impact litigation to alleviate the system’s burdens on low-income people of color.

Fines and fees are one the most important civil rights issues today because they disparately impact Black and brown communities, trapping them in a spiral of debt. As a first-generation immigrant and a person of color, Ana is committed to fighting for racial justice by challenging these practices through her public interest work.

Fellowship Plans

Ana will develop and implement litigation strategies to challenge Chicago’s unjust practices like vehicle impoundment. She will provide a statewide model for challenging impoundment and similarly oppressive policies and practices that generate revenue for Illinois cities on the backs of poor people and people of color. She will work with other advocates and people who have suffered harm to educate the public about how this and similar practices hurt families and communities, and to examine potential legislative reform at the state and local levels.

Media

Recent John Marshall Law School Graduate Ana Torres Selected for Prestigious Equal Justice Works Fellowship

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