Our Team

 
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Mitchell McDowell - Founder & Treasurer

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 low-cost bail bonds offices and has also managed several community service organizations. He 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 the less affluent with affordable legal services and representation. He can be contacted at mitch_mcdowell@unitethepeople.org

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Thomas Loversky (CA Bar #140128) - President & Senior Attorney

Thomas Loversky is the President of Unite the People. He has been a criminal defense attorney for almost 30 years and is highly rated, earning an Excellent rating by Avvo and 5 stars for his criminal defense work. Tom started as a Public Defender in Los Angeles County and has had his own private practice since 1993. He has also served as a Judge Pro Tem in Los Angeles County. He is a longtime advocate of social justice and has devoted countless staff hours and pro bono defense work for the disadvantaged communities represented by Unite the People. He can be contacted via email at info@unitethepeople.org

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Jeanilou G.T. Maschhoff (CA Bar #270562) - Of Counsel

Jeanilou Grace is a highly rated attorney with over 15 years in practice. Passionate about helping non-profits, Jeanilou Grace spent the first 4 years of her legal career working in the non-profit sector. She aims 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. Her email is jeanilou_maschhoff@unitethepeople.org

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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. She can be contacted at mia@unitethepeople.org

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Ashley Reese (CA Bar #312089) - Criminal & Immigration Attorney

Ashley Reese graduated from Southern California Institute of Law out of Santa Barbara, California in 2015. She began her career at the Santa Barbara Public Defenders Office in 2016 and is now a solo practitioner and handles both criminal and immigration cases. She is an advocate for social justice and believes there is much need for policy change. She can be reached at ashley_reese@unitethepeople.org


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Sushila Commons (CA Bar # 296725) - Immigration Attorney

Sushila Commons is a solo practitioner based in Santa Cruz, California. She has practiced immigration law since 2014 and currently works with a non-profit organization in Santa Cruz to provide comprehensive legal immigration services to their international employees, students and volunteers. Sushila is a native Spanish speaker who joined the Unite the People team because she believes that everyone should have access to effective legal representation. You can contact Sushila at sushila_commons@unitethepeople.org

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Judson Parker - General Consultant; Grassroots Strategies

Judson Parker joined UTP as Chief Strategist in January of 2018. He helped build the organization into a fully staffed social justice NGO and one of the only nonprofit legal services firms in the country.  Professionally, he is a political strategist and campaign consultant with more than 15 years of experience directing progressive nonprofits and political organizations. As a managing partner at Democracy Resources, Judson has been in charge of winning dozens of citizens initiatives, including raising the minimum wage in three states, passing the Equal Rights Amendment in Oregon, legalizing medical and recreational cannabis in six states, and stopping multinational corporations from drilling for oil and gas within our national parks. Over the last decade, Judson has also fundraised more than $25 million for organizations like 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. He can be reached at judson_parker@unitethepeople.org

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Dawn Cuevas - Public Relations Director & Legal Assistant

Dawn Cuevas is UTP's Public Relations Director. She has also worked in the legal industry for almost a decade. From Lodi, California, she moved to Orange County as a teenager and returned in 1999. Dawn has been heavily involved with The Relay for Life as a committee member, as well as Team Captain for several years. Most recently she has offered support to Initiate Justice for the Prop 57 and Life Support Alliance. Dawn is extremely passionate about UTP and its causes and ensuring that non-violent three strikers are reunited with their families. She can be contacted at dawn_cuevas@unitethepeople.org

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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 and current student at the Harvard University Division of Continuing Education, she manages both criminal and immigration services. She is committed to ending mass incarceration in the United States. Amy can be reached via email at amy@unitethepeople.org

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Francine Rodriguez - Paralegal

Francine Rodriguez grew up near the skid row area of downtown Los Angeles.  She has worked as a civil rights and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) investigator, a dispute resolution mediator in the federal sector, and in the fields of law and psychology primarily in the Latino community.  She was one of the initial lobbyists for California Proposition 36, advocating for treatment instead of incarceration for drug offenders. She published her first novel, The Fortunate Accident, about the victimization of undocumented aliens by unscrupulous community members and legal practitioners.  She is in the process of publishing her second novel, A Woman Like Me, about one of the first female police officers hired in New Orleans and her indoctrination and descent  into established corruption and brutality. Her email is francine_rodriguez@unitethepeople.org

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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. He can be reached at bilal@unitethepeople.org

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Molly Johnson - Legal Assistant

Molly was born and raised in Sacramento, California and is currently employed as a legal assistant at Unite the People. She is passionate about helping people and social justice. she can be reached at molly_johnson@unitethepeople.org

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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. She can be reached at bethany@unitethepeople.org

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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. Andrea can be reached via email at andrea_deberry@unitethepeople.org

 
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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.

 
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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.”

 
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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 (a nurse) 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, then Solano, Jamestown, and ultimately San Quentin State Prison. At San Quentin, known for its unusual commitment to programming, Bilal took classes in Sociology, Anger Management, Conflict resolution, A.A. Peer Mentoring, Drug Treatment, Parenting, Humanities, and Yoga, which went well with Religious Studies. Bilal also was a very active member in (M.A.C.) Men’s Advisory Counsel. A go between of the inmates and officers. Bilal was also member of the prison’s Baseball, Football, teams, as well as coached and refereed Basketball. 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. He is currently the Operations Manager for a major Logistics Company in Newark California. Responsible for 9 Supervisors, with over 150 employees. Bilal is also a Supervisor at world know Football team in Santa Clara. In 2015 Bilal was named Employee of the year. 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” has been invited to the 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 also Is a member of the “Ride Home Program” a Program that picks up released Obama Clemency recipients, take them shopping, get them their first meal, share my story of experience, strength , and hope, and their first 24 hours released. He continues to travel the country speaking about the effects of mass incarceration, drug and alcohol abuse on communities and individuals across America. He is currently in the process of writing a book about his experiences.