National Redistricting Director, Common Cause
Feng has led Common Cause’s work to challenge partisan and incumbent gerrymandering, through litigation, state-based organizing around ballot initiatives and legislation and creating new platforms for community-based redistricting. As Executive Director of California Common Cause, she championed and won election and redistricting reforms, stronger government sunshine and accountability laws, campaign finance reforms, stronger net neutrality laws, and the voting rights of traditionally disenfranchised communities. Kathay is the architect of California’s Citizens Redistricting Commission, leading the multi-year effort to study, write, and pass the two initiatives, Propositions 11 and 20, that created the commission and new community-focused process. She also led efforts that secured passage of California laws bringing online voter registration and same day registration (called conditional voter registration) to the state. Locally, Kathay helped lead successful efforts to improve Los Angeles’ matching funds campaign finance system, providing a super-match of public funds to city office candidates that raise small dollar donations from city residents. Under Kathay’s leadership, CCC has anchored California’s election protection efforts, assisting and independently monitoring elections throughout the state, since 2006. Kathay has been an activist and civil rights attorney in California for more than 20 years. Before joining Common Cause in 2005, she headed the Voting Rights and Anti-Discrimination Unit at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center. She helped the center secure key voting rights, anti-hate crime, language rights and consumer rights laws while also working on high profile hate crimes cases, civil liberties advocacy, and election monitoring and polling. Her advocacy led to creation of the Los Angeles County Office of Independent Review, which provides citizen oversight over the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department on issues ranging from discrimination to use of force. She serves, or has served, on numerous boards including the California Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on Voter Participation and Outreach, the LA County Human Relations Commission, and the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council. She is a graduate of Cornell University, and holds a law degree from UCLA School of Law.
Kathay is speaking at
Based on historian Jon Meacham’s bestseller, the 2020 HBO documentary The Soul of America explores pivotal historical events such as the women’s suffrage movement, the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, McCarthyism, and the struggle to pass Civil Rights legislation in the 1960s. The film recognizes forces of hatred and division as recurring themes in American life, but ultimately gives hope that the lessons of the past may bring the nation closer to achieving its democratic ideals.
The panel will feature legal scholars, advocates, and practitioners, as they reflect on our current critical moment in history, and the themes of nativism, xenophobia, racism, isolationism, and hostility towards others that have occurred throughout history.
Presented in collaboration with Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), Stop Repeating History and Kunhardt Film Foundation. Link to documentary is available upon registration.
Despite being conducted in the midst of a pandemic, under-resourced, and politicized by the Trump administration, the 2020 Census brought together coalitions of stakeholders who worked to ensure that all people living in the United States, including immigrants, were accurately counted regardless of their citizenship or documentation status. Having every person counted directly impacts how financial resources are subsequently distributed to local communities through 2030 and also impacts the redetermination of boundaries for political offices through the Redistricting Process. The principles of fair representation are at risk both through the current new voting laws enacted at the State level that make it more difficult for people to vote and through the potential gerrymandering of the maps during the Redistricting Process. Learn from this panel of the leading national experts on redistricting and voter rights laws that impact the AAPI community and how you can be a part of protecting our community’s voting rights and fair representation.
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