The judicial branch has so much power — from interpreting laws to applying them to real-world situations. Because of the direct impact these positions have on students and families, LEE wants to empower equity-minded leaders to run (and win!) these seats.
Pinpoint is a compilation of research that we’ve done on elected offices around the country. Although it’s not exhaustive of every possible elected office opportunity – there are over 500,000 offices after all – it’s a great place to start your research.
You can search for an “opportunity” by your location or keyword. We call them “opportunities” because every election is an opportunity to impact educational equity – by seeking office or by making sure an equity leader is in that seat!
Judge Ta-Tanisha James serves on the New York Supreme Court, 1st Judicial District on the Civil Term, which is the highest court in the state for civil matters. In addition to holding office on the NY Supreme Court, she was elected to and still serves on the New York City Civil Court and New York County Family Court. In her roles on multiple courts, she protects tenants and families from slum lords and other bad actors. Before holding seats on multiple benches, Ta-Tanisha taught in the Bronx and clerked for multiple judges across New York City. She has remained rooted in her community and still lives and works in Harlem, where she grew up.
When Reginald joined Teach for America in 2004 his goal was to gain further insight into the intractable problems in the public education system that marginalize students, particularly children of color. By his 20’s, Reg found himself at the center of the charter school reform movement – first, as a teacher and later as a school leader and superintendent. This led him to pursue a law degree where he served as Cardozo’s Student Bar Association President for two consecutive terms and as a Senior Editor of the Arbitration and Dispute Resolution Competition Honor Society. Reg is a Peace Institute trained mediator and since graduating from law school, he has dedicated his energy to justice for all as Manhattan Assistant District Attorney. Reg Greene is committed to serving our community, with particular attention to the most vulnerable of us.Connect With Me
Eli has dedicated this career to public service. He formerly served as a law clerk to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was a civil-rights and public-interest attorney, and started his career as a public-school teacher. Most recently, Eli served as the City of Detroit’s senior legal counsel, where he led criminal-justice reform work for Michigan’s largest city. He led the City’s efforts to hold the pharmaceutical industry accountable for the opioid epidemic. He sued banks, slumlords, and corporations whose housing policies were hurting Detroit residents. And he led the City’s landmark legal efforts to establish that all children have a constitutional right to learn how to read and write. Read more about Eli and his work here.Connect With Me
Gregg was appointed to the 5th circuit court of appeals by President Obama in June of 2014 after serving as a Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of Texas and as a judge on the District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Before he began his career in law, Gregg worked as an elementary school teacher in Sunflower, MS as a part of Teach for America. Judge Costa spent most of his career prosecuting complex fraud while still finding time to volunteer in his community. In addition to pro bono work with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund to pardon unfairly convicted inmates and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law to protect voting rights, he is the co-founder and a current board member of the Sunflower County Freedom Project, a nonprofit educational organization that prepares low-income students for college through after-school and summer programs. On the bench, Judge Costa has protected voting rights as a district court and federal judgeConnect With Me
After teaching in Houston for three years, Fernando attended University of Texas School of Law. He then served as a briefing attorney for then-Associate Justice Nathan Hecht of the Supreme Court of Texas and went on to focus on commercial litigation at Baker Botts LLP. Before becoming a judge, Rodriguez worked as a field office director in the Dominican Republic for International Justice Mission, where he led efforts to combat sex trafficking of children. His work contributed to the rescue of more than 110 victims and 21 convictions of the perpetrators. He previously led similar efforts against the sexual abuse of children in Bolivia. In 2017, President Trump nominated Rodriguez to serve as a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, to the seat vacated by Judge Gregg Costa.Connect With Me