Kathay Feng is Common Cause’s Vice President of Programs. With more than two decades of experience as a voting and civil rights lawyer, Feng is most known for her leadership in redistricting and representation to champion community-centered campaigns to increase public participation, challenge gerrymanders through litigation, and secure fundamental reforms through ballot initiatives and legislative advocacy.
As Executive Director of California Common Cause, Kathay was the architect of California’s Citizens Redistricting Commission, leading the multi-year effort to organize the campaign that helped pass Propositions 11 and 20, creating the nation’s first independent citizens redistricting commission and a new community-focused process. She has also led CA efforts to transform elections, government accountability, campaign finance, net neutrality, and the voting rights of traditionally disenfranchised communities. California Common Cause led efforts to secure the passage and implementation of online and automatic voter registration, same day registration (called conditional voter registration), and the Voters Choice Act.
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.
Before joining Common Cause in 2005, she headed the Voting Rights and Anti-Discrimination Unit at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (now Asian Americans Advancing Justice-LA). She helped pass key voting rights, anti-hate crime, language rights and consumer rights laws while also working on high profile hate crimes cases (Joseph Ileto, Kenneth Chiu), civil liberties advocacy (Wen Ho Lee), and election monitoring and polling. Her advocacy led to creation of the Los Angeles County Office of Independent Review, which provided 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.