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Friday, March 19 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Building a Holistic Policy Practice

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In fall 2019, The Bronx Defenders created a first-of-its-kind holistic, interdisciplinary policy team.  The team is made up of attorneys, social workers, and policy advocates from each of BxD's practices -- criminal defense, family defense, civil action, immigration, and social work -- who split time between direct representation and legislative and policy work.  Our presentation will explore the opportunities and challenges that come with embedding a policy team in a direct representation practice, including: centering questions of racial equity; incorporating client and community input in setting policy priorities; ensuring effective communication across practice areas; initiating and sustaining effective policy campaigns; coordinating communications and organizing strategies; and balancing abolitionist aims with political realities.  We will also use examples from our recent and ongoing campaigns (ending driver's license suspensions for unpaid fines and fees, repealing police secrecy laws, jail conditions during covid, and sentencing reform).  

Speakers
avatar for Scott Levy

Scott Levy

Chief Policy Counsel, Bronx Defenders
As Chief Policy Counsel, Scott oversees The Bronx Defenders public policy agenda, coordinating and advancing policy reform work across the criminal, family, social work, immigration, and civil practices.  He supervises an interdisciplinary team of advocates working on legislative... Read More →
avatar for Julia Solomons

Julia Solomons

Sr. Policy Social Worker, CDP, Bronx Defenders
Julia Solomons is a social worker in the Criminal Defense Practice. She received her Masters in Social Work from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. While pursuing her graduate degree she interned with the Office of City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viveríto, leading... Read More →
avatar for Brittany McCoy

Brittany McCoy

Policy Associate, The Bronx Defenders
Brittany McCoy (she, her, hers) is a graduate of Virginia State University and holds a B.A in Political Science with a minor in Pre-Law. Brittany’s passion for activism and politics was born in the 10th grade during the movements to end unconstitutional Stop and Frisk tactics in... Read More →
avatar for Eli Northrup

Eli Northrup

Policy Counsel, Criminal Defense Practice, Bronx Defenders
Eli Northrup has been working at the Bronx Defenders since 2015 where he handles both felony and misdemeanor cases and is a member of the Policy Team. Prior to joining the Bronx Defenders, Eli served as an E. Barrett Prettyman Fellow in the Criminal Defense and Prisoner Advocacy Clinic... Read More →
avatar for Dawit Getachew

Dawit Getachew

Chief Policy Counsel, CDP, Bronx Defenders
Dawit received his J.D from CUNY School of Law where he was a Graduate Fellow. While at CUNY, Dawit represented individuals charged with crimes in Queens County as a student attorney through the Defenders Clinic and participated in CUNY's CLEAR project. Dawit spent his 1L summer at... Read More →


Friday March 19, 2021 2:00pm - 3:00pm EDT
Room 1