Mitchell McDowell - Founder
Mitchell McDowell is the founding member of Unite the People. His vision for the organization is to advance social justice in the United States through organizing in the community service sector and promoting affordable legal services for all. Mitchell has 25 years of experience as the owner of a bail assistance organization, where he helped reunite hundreds of families and restore the presumption of innocence for the accused, and has also managed several community service organizations before foundling UTP. Mitch also served in the United States military reserves. He and UTP are currently involved in moving forward a California sentencing reform initiative - The People’s Fair Sentencing & Public Safety Act - as well as helping close the justice gap by connecting Californians with affordable legal services and representation.
Thomas Loversky (CA Bar #140128) - President & Supervising Attorney
Thomas Loversky is the President of Unite the People. He has been practicing Criminal Defense in California since 1989. Since then, he has represented hundreds of clients in an aggressive, passionate, and compassionate way. His mission is to take a genuine interest in his clients, understand their objectives, and meet and even surpass their expectations. Tom regularly puts three to four or more thousand miles a month on his car going to see clients, visiting jails, going to crime scenes, and making court appearances.
Jeanilou G.T. Maschhoff (CA Bar #270562) - Of Counsel
Jeanilou G.T. Maschhoff is a highly rated attorney with over 20 years of comprehensive business operations, finance and development experience. Passionate about social justice and assisting underrepresented populations, Jeanilou spent the first 4 years of her legal career working in the non-profit sector. She continues to assist non-profit organizations in many capacities and actively looks to partner businesses with charitable causes to develop a synergistic effect that benefits not only the organizations involved but our society as a whole.
Mia Jin (CA Bar #323416) - Immigration Attorney
Mia Jin graduated from University of Southern California, Gould School of Law in 2011. She is admitted to practice law in the State of New York, California, and P.R. China. Mia has been an immigration attorney since 2012, and is specialized in Family-Based Immigration, Citizenship, Asylum, VAWA, Removal Defense, etc. Since 2017, Mia has devoted herself in public interest law serving the disadvantaged community. She volunteered at the Los Angeles County Bar Association, Immigration Project; Neighborhood Legal Services - Shriver Housing Project; and Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic. She represents immigration detainees in their bond hearings, and immigrants in removal proceedings to seek immigration relief.
Erin Brinkman (CA Bar #289967) - Criminal Defense & Civil Rights Attorney
Erin Brinkman is a fourth-generation Angeleno who has been passionate about criminal law and social justice issues for as long as she can recall. Erin attended Harvard University, where she graduated with an BA in Government (magma cum laude) and a Special Citation in Spanish. Erin went on to graduate from The University of North Carolina School of Law. While there, she served more than 300 pro bono hours working with the California Innocence Project, the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence, the ACLU Capital Punishment Project, and the Center for Death Penalty Litigation. She also interned for the local District Attorney’s office, externed for the North Carolina Department of Justice (Criminal Appeals Division), and served as a Guardian ad Litem. She also has experience on Unruh Act class action discrimination cases. Erin brings her passion for criminal justice and 10 years of criminal law experience to Unite the People.
David M. Philips (CA Bar #45761) - Criminal Defense Attorney
David Philips graduated from the UCLA School of Law in 1969. He began his legal career in 1970 as a staff attorney with Riverside County Legal Aid Society, Indio Branch. His practice consisted primarily of protecting poor people from the ravages, abuses, indignities and exploitation of the agricultural and hotel industries that tightly controlled the local economy. He specialized in juvenile and labor rights and consumer protection. After leaving legal aid he entered private practice and focused on criminal law and parole hearings. He was a member of the Federal Indigent Defense Panel for three decades. Over 45 years he was trial counsel in more than 12 felony trials, both State and Federal, including numerous homicides. He served as Judge Pro Tem in Riverside County dozens of times. David was also a mentor to 28 parolees in the Volunteers In Parole (VIP) program.
Natalie Webb (NY Bar #5013222) - Criminal Defense & Civil Rights Attorney
Natalie grew up in Los Angeles and has dedicated her career to public interest law. Prior to joining Unite the People she worked on federal habeas corpus and national class-action immigration cases. Natalie also worked as a nonprofit lawyer in New York representing low and no-income tenants in eviction prevention proceedings, in South Africa advocating for social and economic rights in the informal settlements, in London on international extraordinary rendition and police brutality cases, in Ethiopia researching laws to prevent gender-based violence, and in Mexico assisting Central American immigrants applying for asylum. She is a board member of Housing Rights Initiative, has been published in a wide variety of journals, and has spoken on social justice panels at Duke University and the University of Southern California. Natalie believes the law is one of many tools in the fight for social justice and is dedicated to using it to empower disadvantaged communities.
Gayle Gutekunst (CA Bar #91826) - Criminal Defense Attorney
Gayle was admitted to the California Bar in 1980. Since that time she has devoted a substantial portion of her professional experience to the defense of the criminally accused, wrongfully convicted, and the disenfranchised, including 14 years as a public defender. Her present practice focuses on federal and state trial and post-conviction juvenile and adult criminal defense, especially homicides and other complex cases, as well as civil rights litigation, statewide and in federal courts in California and Colorado. In addition to her extensive trial and appellate experience, she has produced materials for continuing education presentations, trained new trial lawyers and served as a senior strategizer for defense cases statewide. Having represented defendants in high profile cases, she has experience with the strategic communications component of litigating cases under public scrutiny, and assisted advocacy in the California Legislature against an out-spoken “anti-immigrant” legislator, given national television interviews and issued press releases. She received a B.A. from Barnard College, Columbia University, and a J.D. from Fordham Law School.
Amy Chattopadhyay - Legal Case Management Director
Drawing on her experience in civil litigation and immigration law, Amitabho "Amy" Chattopadhyay joined Unite the People as Case Management Director in 2018. An immigrant herself, she manages both criminal and immigration services. She is also committed to ending mass incarceration in the United States.
Bilal Khan - Paralegal
Bilal Khan is a paralegal with over 15 years of experience in the legal services field. He chose a career in law with the main goal of helping marginalized communities connect with professional legal services. He is a strong advocate for minority communities and fighting for justice for the under-served.
Rollin Mathews - Post Conviction Consultant
Rollin Mathews is a formerly incarcerated person who studied law during his 20 years incarcerated. While in prison, Rollin focused on educating himself as well as others on post-conviction law, and his tireless work helped win the release of 20 other incarcerated people as well as himself. Since his release, Rollin has been furthering his education in law, and is currently working on his paralegal certification under the supervision of our president, Tom Loversky. Rollin currently assists Unite the People with post-conviction legal consultations, putting his two decades of experience to work for the people.
Elizabeth Flores - Legal Assistant
Elizabeth Flores graduated from UCLA and received her Bachelor’s in Sociology and Chicana/o Studies. As a first-generation college graduate, she aspires to advocate for immigrant rights and mass incarceration reform. Her active role in her community motivates her to serve as a resource for marginalized communities. Volunteering as a mentor and tutor are the start of her journey to advocate for community development.
Judson Parker - Operations & Marketing Consultant, Social Community Manager
Judson Parker joined UTP as a campaign and strategy consultant in January of 2018. Professionally, he is a political consultant with more than 15 years of experience directing progressive political campaigns, with an emphasis on direct voter contact. As a partner at Democracy Resources and owner of Parker Consulting & Political Management, Judson has also been in charge of qualifying and winning dozens of citizens initiatives, including raising the minimum wage in two states, passing the Equal Rights Amendment into the Oregon Constitution, legalizing medical and recreational cannabis in four states, stopping multinational corporations from drilling for oil along the Florida coastline, and dozens more progressive victories. Over the last decade, Judson has also fundraised more than $25 million for organizations including the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (where he served as the Los Angeles Senior City Fundraising Coordinator), the Sierra Club, Environment America, and the Human Rights Campaign.
Bethany Crooks - Social Media & Administrative Assistant
Bethany Crooks graduated from College of the Canyons with a degree in Psychology. She has always had a passion for helping others. She is committed to ending mass incarceration with UTP and reuniting families because Prop 57 directly affects her and her family.
Andrea DeBerry - Grants Program Director
Andrea DeBerry, a marketing professional in Grant Writing, received her Bachelors of Science in Speech Communications from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, Integrated Marketing & Communications professional certificate from DePaul University, and her Masters of Science in Communications from Northwestern University. She currently is a Program Specialist at one of the Nation’s largest private non-profit Community Action Agencies.
Elizabeth Stewart - Ambassador
Elizabeth Stewart is an Ambassador of UTP. She has a personal connection to criminal justice reform through her son, Jeremy, who was arrested for property theft and given a 70 years to life sentence under the California Three Strikes law in 2010. She began her activism by serving as Chapter Leader for Families to Amend California Three Strikes (FACT) from 2010-2015, and is currently continuing her work with All of Us or None, A New Path, and Moms United out of San Diego and the Fair Chance Program in Los Angeles. Elizabeth has shared her son’s story through speaking engagements and the creation of the “Three-Striker” documentary which exposes how the Three Strikes law sends nonviolent criminals away for life.
Rev. Dennis Malone - Ambassador
Rev. Dennis Malone has more than 25 years experience advocating for criminal justice reform. He earned a Bachelors of Social Science degree and is certified through SDSU in Community Economic Development (CED). Honors include the San Diego Foundation for Change Danzig Award for outstanding community grassroots organizing. Documentaries: “America’s Longest War” A film about drug prohibition. Rev. Malone’s lead organizing efforts include; United Afro American Ministerial Action Council (UAAMAC), where he recruited faith and community based agencies into joint collaborations leading towards effective policy changes. Families to Amend CA’s Three Strikes Law – San Diego Chapter, (FACTS). Rev. Malone currently directs “All of Us or None, San Diego”, a grassroots movement of former prisoners and felons, organizing to combat the many forms of discrimination faced as the result of felony convictions. He is in the 15th year of service on the Board of Directors of Parents for Addiction Treatment and Healing “A New PATH”. These accomplishments come after serving nearly a decade (1982-1991) in federal and state penal institutions. Since 1991 Rev. Malone has been an example of “A second chance made good.”
Kevin Bilal Chatman - Ambassador
Kevin Bilal became an ambassador of UTP because of his dedication to ending mass incarceration. He was born in Los Angeles and later moved to San Jose as a child with his single mother and three brothers. In the 1980s, when the economy crashed, Bilal lost his job. At this time the crack epidemic hit, he was swept up in drug addiction and dealing. Ultimately, he received a 150 years-to-life sentence under California’s “Three Strikes” law for selling $200 worth of drugs to an undercover police officer. He was then incarcerated at Soledad, Solano, Jamestown, and ultimately San Quentin State Prisons. At San Quentin—known for its commitment to re-entry programming—Bilal took classes in Sociology, Anger Management, Conflict resolution, A.A. Peer Mentoring, Drug Treatment, Parenting, Humanities, Yoga, and Religious Studies. He also was a very active member in the Men’s Advisory Council. In 2012, Californians overwhelmingly voted to amend the “Three Strikes” law and Bilal became eligible for release. After nearly 11 years, he returned to San Jose, a district with relatively high support for those reentering, and has since thrived.
As a member of The Return Project as well as featured in the Emmy Nominated Documentary “The Return”, he was also featured on “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” invited to the Obama White House, and has been a panelist at a Capitol Hill Screening with Congressman Elijah Cummings of Baltimore. Bilal has also been on panels in Philadelphia, Virginia, Washington D.C, Chicago New York, Atlanta, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, san Jose, Berkeley, San Francisco, Oakland. He has traveled to Prisons in New York, Ohio, Oregon, Washington, California. Bilal is also a member of the “Ride Home Program” which picks up released Obama Clemency recipients, takes them shopping, and provides them with their first meal and stories of experience, strength, and hope during their first 24 hours released. He continues to travel the country speaking about the effects of mass incarceration in America.