California Common Cause has tapped Jonathan Mehta Stein as the new executive director to lead the nonpartisan democracy reform organization starting May 1, 2020. Stein brings a wealth of experience working in traditionally underserved communities to increase civic participation and equitable representation, particularly in the areas of voting rights, campaign finance and redistricting.
“We welcome Jonathan as the new leader of California Common Cause. He is deeply committed to our issues and has a track record of fighting to improve democracy for all Californians,” said Mindy Romero, director of the California Civic Engagement Project at University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy and current board chair of California Common Cause.
Prior to joining Common Cause, Stein served as head of the Voting Rights & Census Program at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco. His work there included securing passage of the strongest state law in the nation guaranteeing language access in voting and managing the nation’s largest field poll monitoring program in November 2016. Before that, Stein served as a staff attorney for the ACLU of California. Stein has chaired the Oakland Public Ethics Commission and the California Common Cause board. While earning his Master in Public Policy and Juris Doctorate from University of California Berkeley, Stein served as the student regent on the UC Board of Regents.
“Jonathan is a unique leader whose passion for fulfilling the promise of America — that we all have a say in determining the future with our voice and our vote — is exactly what is needed in these challenging times,” said Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause. “California is a model for the nation by proving we can end gerrymandering and reduce the influence of money in politics. With Jonathan Stein leading our work there, Common Cause will continue looking ahead and finding practical solutions strengthening the voice of the people in our democracy. We look forward to his commitment to inclusion shaping the future of California.”
“I follow a long line of Common Cause leaders. My predecessor Kathay Feng is the architect of California’s Citizens Redistricting Commission. I’m grateful for and humbled by their work,” said Jonathan Mehta Stein. “Looking forward, we have much left to do to achieve a truly representative California democracy that reflects the people of our state. I want to tackle our low voter turnout and our deep and persistent voter participation disparities with innovations that stimulate turnout and trust.”
As Stein takes the helm of California Common Cause, Kathay Feng, who has served as executive director since 2005, will focus full time on her role as Common Cause’s national director of redistricting & representation based in Los Angeles.
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