February 11, 2022
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm, Pacific Time
ACS Oregon: Universal Suffrage: Restoration of Voting Rights for Persons Convicted of a Felony and Presently Incarcerated
Please join the ACS Oregon Lawyer Chapter for an examination of Oregon's HB 4147. The proposed legislation seeks to restore voting rights to individuals in Oregon who have been convicted of a felony and allow them to vote while incarcerated. We will also examine the wider movement to restore voting rights to people previously convicted of a felony and presently incarcerated while hearing from formerly incarcerated individuals who have been directly affected by this form of disenfranchisement.
Zachary Winston, Policy Director, Oregon Justice Resource Center (OJRC)
Zach graduated from Western Connecticut State University with his B.S. in Justice and Law Administration and received his Juris Doctor from Lewis & Clark Law School. During law school, Zach worked on several projects with OJRC including the Oregon Innocence Project. After law school, Zach joined Mark C. Cogan, P.C., where he practiced criminal defense. He represented clients on misdemeanors, Measure 11 charges, DHS investigations, and expungement. Most recently, Zach worked at The Pathfinder Network's Center for Family Success as a Family Advocate/Facilitator, where he facilitated groups for justice-involved parents and advocated for marginalized individuals. Zach is formerly incarcerated and uses his firsthand experiences to inform his work around criminal justice reform. Zach earned his JD from Lewis & Clark Law School.
Anthony Pickens, Paralegal, Oregon Justice Resource Center (OJRC)
Anthony is a formerly incarcerated youth offender who was incarcerated at the age of 15. He served 24 years of a 29-to-life sentence before successfully proving outstanding rehabilitation and reformation and having his sentence commuted by Governor Kate Brown. While incarcerated, Anthony embraced the Transformative Justice philosophy and felt obligated to begin to live a life of amends which led him to get involved in and start several groups that challenged the toxic dynamics of prison and street culture. Anthony also served as President of Uhuru SaSa, the African-American cultural club inside of Oregon State Prison, where he helped organize and lead legal workshops and seminars which empowered prisoners with an understanding of the legal system as well as an understanding of how to do their own research. Anthony has been instrumental in efforts to remove slavery from the Oregon Constitution both while incarcerated and since he has been released.
Isabela Villarreal, Policy and Communications Manager, NextUp Oregon
Isabela (she/her) is a queer Latina youth advocate and organizer who has been with Next Up for three years. She received a BA in Community Development from PSU and currently serves on the Board of Directors and steering committee for Participatory Budgeting Oregon. Her experience organizing in high school and subsequent work with culturally specific community organizations instilled in her the power of youth and community work to bring about social and political transformation to marginalized communities. When not at work she enjoys chasing sun spots, reading afro-futurism, and eating anything made out of potatoes (especially curly fries and ajiaco). Isabela and NextUp are working with a coalition of organizations including OJRC to pass HB 4147 in Oregon.
Cinna'Mon Williams, Director of Education & Workforce Development, Urban League of Portland
Cinna'Mon Williams is the Director of Education and Workforce Development at the Urban League of Portland. The Urban League of Portland is a 77-year-old social service and civil rights organization that operates in service to Black communities throughout Oregon and SW Washington. Its mission is to empower African Americans and others to achieve equality in education, employment, health, economic security, and quality of life. In her role with the Urban League, she has responsibility for all of the organization's family empowerment programs, employment-focused activities, and small business development. Cinna'Mon developed the organization's Entrepreneurship Academy, redeveloped the Youth Leadership Academy, created and implemented the Feed the Folks Initiative, plans the annual Career Connections Jobs Fair, and has expanded the employment programs to serve upwards of 500 career seekers annually. Prior to the Urban League, she advocated for communities of color as a public agency equity professional for 25 years. Cinna'Mon holds a Bachelor in Business with a concentration in Leadership, and a Master in Business Administration, with a concentration in Management. Cinna'Mon is formerly incarcerated and will speak to her first hand experience.
Keeda Haynes, Voting Rights Campaign Strategist, The Sentencing Project
Prior to her work at the Sentencing Project, she worked with Free Hearts as the Senior Legal Advisor. She also served her community for 6 ½ years as an Assistant Public Defender in Nashville, TN. There she devoted all of her determination, energy, and passion to fighting for her clients, in the courtroom, and in the community. In 2002, for her alleged involvement in a drug distribution ring, Keeda was sentenced to seven years in federal prison for a crime she didn't commit. The United States Supreme Court remanded her case and eventually she was resentenced to the mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years. Keeda was finally released from federal prison on December 1, 2006, after serving almost four years. Two years after her release, Keeda enrolled into law school at the Nashville School of Law, graduated in 2012 and became a practicing attorney, after clearing the Character and Fitness examination, in Nashville, Tennessee in December of 2012.
Shelby C. Smith, Staff Attorney, Legal Aid Services Of Oregon
Shelby Smith is the Vice President of the ACS Oregon Lawyer Chapter and a Staff Attorney at Legal Aid Services of Oregon in the Portland Regional Office. Shelby received her J.D. from Willamette University College of Law in 2018 and is an ACS Next Generation Leader