Common Cause NewYork

Meet the Common Cause/NY Team



Susan Lerner

Executive Director

212.691.6421 X202

slerner (at) commoncause (dot) org


Susan Lerner, the Executive Director of Common Cause New York, has been an activist for over 30 years. She speaks and writes extensively on redistricting, ethics, and campaign finance reform. Currently, she is a founding member of a new Coalition, NY Women Vote, to educate and mobilize women to participate in the democratic process. She is a member of the board of the Center for Traditional Music and Dance and is on the Advisory Board for


Prior to joining Common Cause/NY, Susan was the executive director of the California Clean Money Campaign. She served as a member of the Steering Committee of the Commonwealth Club's Voices of Reform Project and on the Board of Trustees of the California State Summer School for the Arts. She founded and chaired the Committee for Judicial Independence, a grassroots organization dedicated to educating and activating Americans to the importance of an independent federal judiciary, and led a statewide coalition of groups active on federal judicial nominations.


For almost 20 years, Susan was a trial lawyer in Los Angeles specializing in complex commercial litigation and intellectual property. She is a graduate of the University of Chicago and NYU School of Law who currently lives in Brooklyn.





Brian Paul

Research and Policy Manager

212.691.6421 X206

bpaul (at) commoncause (dot) org

Brian joined Common Cause in March 2011 and is responsible for conducting research, analysis, and writing for many of Common Cause/NY’s projects on issues such as campaign finance reform, lobbying, and redistricting. Brian has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and classics from Vassar College and a master’s degree in urban planning from Hunter College. Before joining Common Cause/NY, Brian was a fellow at the Hunter College Center for Community Planning and Development.

Joel Befus

BookKeeper/Admin Assistant

212.691.6421 X216

jbefus (at) commoncause (dot) org


Joel joined Common Cause New York in 2011. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from John Brown University and a MBA from the University of Akron. He previously worked at the Coalition of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Coalition.