Session Type(s): Panel
Starts: Saturday, Aug. 4 3:00 PM (Eastern)
Ends: Saturday, Aug. 4 4:15 PM (Eastern)
Reclaiming the Narrative on Voting Rights
Posted by Netroots Nation on Saturday, August 4, 2018
2018 marks many of the first federal elections since Donald Trump was elected to office. False claims of voter fraud and fears of foreign interference have shaken many people’s trust in our elections—so how can voting rights advocates stop playing defense and instead drive progressive, inclusive voting policies? This panel will discuss how we can reclaim the narrative on voting rights using communications, digital, on-the-ground, and state-based strategies.
Shaneice Simmons is Rock the Vote’s Associate Director of Civic Engagement and a leading advocate for the power of young people. She oversees and builds all strategic partnerships with other nonprofit organizations, developing collaborative opportunities to increase youth civic engagement and empower the next generation of voters. Prior to joining Rock the Vote over two years ago, Shaneice worked in marketing and advertising, developing initiatives for both online and in-person activations for brands such as Coca-Cola. Shaneice received her B.A. in Communications, with a concentration in Public Relations, from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Kat Calvin is the founder of Spread The Vote. A lawyer and social entrepreneur, Kat started STV after observing the results of local, state, and national elections without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act, and especially the many new voter ID laws that prevented millions of Americans from voting. Her work is fueled by the knowledge that the IDs Spread The Vote obtains will also help these voters have access to jobs, housing, medical care, and much more.
Kat’s goal is to get an ID for every voter in America who needs one, because everyone has the right to fully access their personhood, and every citizen has the right to vote.
Kat attended Mount Holyoke College and the University of Michigan Law School. She is an Army brat mostly from Seattle and Sierra Vista, AZ and currently lives in Los Angeles.
Other sessions: Women of Color: Creating Community for Shared Success
Jonah Minkoff-Zern is Co-director of Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People campaign working to build a national movement for our democracy. In this role, he has worked to build national momentum for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, helped mobilize thousands for Democracy Awakening and co-founded the Trump Is Not Above the Law network. He is currently acting as the national coalition coordinator for the Second Chances Florida campaign. He is a long time organizer who has co-founded numerous organizations, including Education Not Incarceration, which conducted grassroots organizing nationally to prevent students from being pushed out of the education system and into the prison system. He completed law school at Golden Gate School of Law in San Francisco.
Myrna Pérez is Deputy Director of the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program and leader of the Center’s Voting Rights and Elections project. An expert on voting rights and election administration, she is the author of several nationally recognized reports and articles, including Election Day Long Lines: Resource Allocation (Sept. 2014) and If Section 5 Falls: New Voting Implications (June 2013). Her work has been featured in media outlets across the country, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, and others. She has testified before several state legislatures on a variety of voting rights related issues. She is a lecturer-in-law at Columbia Law School and has also served as an Adjunct Professor of Clinical Law at NYU School of Law.
Prior to joining the Brennan Center, Ms. Pérez was the Civil Rights Fellow at Relman, Dane & Colfax, a civil rights law firm in Washington, D.C. She graduated from Columbia Law School, where she was a Lowenstein Public Interest Fellow. Following law school, Ms. Pérez clerked for the Hon. Anita B. Brody of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and for the Hon. Julio M. Fuentes of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. She previously served as the Chair of the Election Law Committee of the City of New York Bar Association. Ms. Pérez is the recipient of several awards, including the Puerto Rican Bar Association Award for Excellence in Academia, the New Jersey League of Women Voters “Making Democracy Work” award, and was named one of 2014’s 50 Hispanic Influentials by Hispanic Business.
Ms. Pérez earned her undergraduate degree in Political Science from Yale University. She obtained a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, where she was the recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Public Service. Prior to law school, she was a Presidential Management Fellow, serving as a policy analyst for the United States Government Accounting Office on a range of issues, including housing and health care.
Adrienne van der Valk (she/her/hers) brings a background in social work, research and journalism to her role as as Deputy Director for Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Adrienne directs an editorial team of eight people who write, curate, edit and publish all outward-facing communications. Under her leadership, Teaching Tolerance magazine has won dozens of REVERE Awards from the Association of American Publishers, including Best Reporting, Best Overall Editorial, Best Overall Publication and the Golden Lamp, the highest award in educational publishing. Adrienne holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Grinnell College and master’s degrees in political science and journalism from the University of Oregon.