Joanna Cuevas Ingram

  • Hosted by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Sponsored by Anonymous
  • Service location San Francisco, California
  • Law school University of California, Davis School of Law
  • Issue area Civil Rights/Civil Liberties, Voting Rights/Electoral Participation
  • Fellowship class year 2012
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Joanna developed successful community-based voting rights education, outreach, and advocacy strategies to address ongoing minority vote dilution systemic voting rights barriers, and felony disenfranchisement in California. Voting rights barriers, voter discrimination, and vote dilution continue to plague local election systems throughout California, even as a growing new majority of citizens of color reach voting age across the state. Multi-pronged, community-based advocacy strategies are needed to address continued systemic voting rights barriers, discrimination, and dilution throughout the state.

During her Fellowship, Joanna:

  • Recruited and trained more than 90 pro bono attorneys from 25 law firms to protect voters’ rights in more than 230 California precincts during the November 2012 elections
  • Worked with Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR) coalition partners to successfully settle California Voting Rights Act cases against San Mateo County and the City of Merced; ensured compliance with federal Voting Rights Act throughout community-based redistricting process in San Mateo County, providing opportunities for fair representation to 740,000 diverse San Mateo residents with the adoption of the Community Unity Map
  • Published “Voting Rights Barriers & Discrimination in Twenty-First Century California” in response to the decision in Shelby County v. Holder, reviewing current burdens on the right to vote in California
  • Organized and testified at the California Statewide Voting Rights Hearing before the National Commission on Voting Rights together with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, documenting ongoing vote dilution, discrimination, and other systemic voting rights barriers
  • Organized a statewide voting rights coalition to expand voting rights legislation in the wake of Shelby County v. Holder
  • Filed a successful impact case and petition for writ of mandate (Scott et al. v. Bowen) with partner organizations, affirming voting rights for an estimated 60,000 currently and formerly incarcerated Californians, the majority of whom are Latino or African-American
  • Developed an online educational series with the League of Women Voters San Francisco, “Voting Rights Barriers in California Today”

Next Steps

Joanna continues to litigate, build coalitions, engage public opinion and produce scholarship to advance constitutional rights, civil rights, and voting rights on the national level, as associate counsel at LatinoJustice PRLDEF.

If I do not boldly and affirmatively advocate for human rights and social justice every day, then I am effectively surrendering the defense of my own civil and human rights as well.

Joanna Cuevas Ingram /
2012 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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