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Voting Rights

Team

Deanna Kitamura

Deanna Kitamura

Senior Staff Attorney, Voting Rights

Deanna Kitamura

Senior Staff Attorney, Voting Rights

Deanna Kitamura is a Senior Staff Attorney with the Voting Rights Program. Her work focuses on protecting the vote and expanding access to the polls for AAPI voters. Before joining AdvancingJustice-ALC, Deanna was a Senior Staff Attorney at Partnership for Working Families where she provided legal support to grassroot organizations. For nearly a decade before that, Deanna worked at Advancing Justice-Los Angeles – first as the Statewide Redistricting Manager and later as Senior Staff Attorney and Voting Rights Project Director. She has filed lawsuits resulting in cities converting from at-large to district elections and has co-authored various reports, including Voices of Democracy: The State of Language Access in California’s November 2016 Elections. Deanna has worked on legislation involving California’s automatic voter registration process, the administration of vote centers, and language access improvements for voters. She has served on several local and state election-related committees and is a member of the California Secretary of State’s Language Accessibility Advisory Committee.

Deanna has dedicated her legal career to working on social justice issues. In addition to the nonprofits listed above, she has worked at Western Center on Law & Poverty, the National Consumer Law Center, and California Rural Legal Assistance. She began her career working on employment discrimination cases at a civil rights litigation firm. Deanna graduated from Pomona College and UCLA School of Law.

Eileen Ma

Eileen Ma

Director of Affiliation Voting Rights Strategy

Eileen Ma

Director of Affiliation Voting Rights Strategy

Eileen has worked for over twenty years as a community organizer, campaign director and non-profit executive, serving primarily low-income, immigrant and LGBTQ communities of color. Her professional experience includes working for many labor unions and community-based organizations, such as API Equality-LA where she served for several years as Executive Director and contributed to highly-lauded efforts to achieve equality and visibility for API LGBTQ communities. Most recently, she worked as staff attorney for Advancement Project – National Office on voting rights and immigrant rights, and Advancing Justice LA’s National Voting Rights Project. She is originally from Somers, New York, is Chinese American and speaks Mandarin and Spanish. She earned a JD from Loyola Law School (2013) and a BA from Columbia University (1993).

Elisa Chen

Elisa Chen

Data Analyst

Elisa Chen

Data Analyst

Elisa Chen is the Data Analyst on the National Voting Rights team at Advancing Justice – ALC. Her work focuses on building the technical infrastructure for community based organizations nationwide, and providing data analysis support for civic engagement, voting rights advocacy, and litigation. Elisa previously worked at Coase-Sander Institute for Law and Economics, University of Chicago Crime and Education Lab, and Advancing Justice-LA, using social science research methods and computational tools to support criminal justice reforms and voting rights issues. She is particularly interested in creating disaggregated data to better serve our community, critically examining the production and distribution of data, and making open data accessible to everyone.

Elisa received her M.P.P from University of Chicago, and B.A in Mathematics and History from University of Wisconsin-Madison. In her free time, she can be found doing yoga and reading comic books with her two imaginary cats at her small apartment in Hyde Park, trying to be elegant at the ice rinks, and learning languages in the public library!

Elisa is a first-generation immigrant, and she' more than proud to help her fellow immigrants of color to navigate the complex social and political landscape in America.

Julia Marks

Julia Marks

Staff Attorney and Program Manager, Voting Rights

Julia Marks

Staff Attorney and Program Manager, Voting Rights

Julia is a Staff Attorney and Program Manager with the Voting Rights and Census program. Before joining Advancing Justice – ALC, she clerked for the Hon. Keith P. Ellison of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Julia previously litigated civil rights class actions and other high-impact cases at Disability Rights Advocates to expand access to public- and private-sector services. She received her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, where she participated in the California Asylum Representation Clinic, the East Bay Community Law Center’s Neighborhood Justice Clinic, and the Berkeley Journal of International Law.

Karen Kandamby

Karen Kandamby

Voting Rights and Democracy Fellow

Karen Kandamby

Voting Rights and Democracy Fellow

Karen Kandamby (she/her) is the Voting Rights and Democracy Fellow on the Affiliation Voting Rights Strategy team. Her work includes collaborating with organizations across several states to address–in partnership and coalition–participation in redistricting and advancing national voting rights. Daughter of working class Sri Lankan and Mexican parents, her identity politics have been shaped by the systemic inequities her family and community have faced and continue to face.

Prior to joining the affiliation, Karen was an organizer with the Pomona Economic Opportunity Center (PEOC) where she worked to ensure day laborers, household workers and other low-wage, immigrant workers find safe work at a fair wage and organize and advocate for themselves in relation to policies that impact their lives.During her time there, she also helped build the organization’s civic engagement program from the ground up.

Karen is a first generation college graduate and holds a BA in Psychology and Spanish from Pitzer College.

Kimberly Leung

Kimberly Leung

Voting Rights Legal Fellow

Kimberly Leung

Voting Rights Legal Fellow

Kim is the Voting Rights Legal Fellow at the Asian Americans Advancing Justice Affiliation and Advancing Justice – Chicago. Prior to this role, Kim was the Managing Attorney at the Chinese American Service League, where she coordinated and provided legal services to residents of Chicago’s Chinatown and surrounding areas.

Kim draws from her breadth of experience in the private and public sector. Previously, Kim served as Assistant Attorney General at the Illinois Attorney General’s office, where she served as lead counsel in federal civil rights lawsuits.

Kim earned her J.D. at the University of Wisconsin, where she participated in the Wisconsin Innocence Project, and Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender and Society.

Sietse Goffard

Sietse Goffard

Senior Program Coordinator, Voting Rights

Sietse Goffard

Senior Program Coordinator, Voting Rights

Sietse Goffard is the Senior Program Coordinator on the Voting Rights team at Advancing Justice – ALC. His work focuses on fair redistricting and voter empowerment. Sietse previously worked on affordable housing and Section 8 rental assistance programs for the City of Boston. He also spent several years at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) leading projects to tackle racial discrimination in housing and lending. His research and articles have been published by the Brookings Institution, Cato Institute, US-China Perception Monitor, and National Bureau of Economic Research. In addition, Sietse is an avid public transportation enthusiast and served on the advisory council of Washington D.C.’s transit system to advocate for more equitable metro and bus coverage.

Sietse completed his graduate studies at Harvard Kennedy School and at Tsinghua University as a Schwarzman Scholar. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College, where he served as class president and co-led a citizenship mentoring program for elderly Asian immigrants.

Our Focus

Racial justice can’t be achieved without eradicating discriminatory barriers to voting and guaranteeing every person has a say in our democracy. Raising our voices through the democratic process helps us influence governments to deliver what we need, from worker protections to immigrant justice to housing rights. We fight for Asian American, Pacific Islander, immigrant, limited-English speaking, and other disenfranchised people to make sure their voices are heard.

  • With partners across California, we’re empowering Asian American communities to shape state and local redistricting.
  • We fight for better representation of Asian American Californians and other Californians of color by pushing for election systems that give historically disenfranchised communities an equal say in our democracy.
  • We advocate for and pass legislation to increase language access at the ballot box.
A woman in a blazer is speaking at a podium in front of a slide presentation on poll monitoring

Get Involved

Stand up for an inclusive, multiracial democracy and help draw the lines of power this year. Learn more.

Our Work

Guides & Reports

Know Your Voting Rights: Resources for 2022 Elections

Find a wide range of voting rights and voter engagement fact sheets and resources prepared by Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus.

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Perspective

Q&A: Making it Possible for More People to be a Voter

We spoke with a San Francisco resident who has volunteered as a poll monitor to help Bay Area voters fulfill their right to vote.

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News

Asian American Voters’ Lawsuit Against SB 202 Moves Forward

Judge affirms Asian American voters can hold the government accountable for violating their right to vote.

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