Holly Mitchell was elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in 2020. Previously she served in the California State Assembly and Senate, where she authored over 90 bills that became law and many of which have been at the forefront of expanding healthcare access, addressing systemic racism, and championing criminal justice reform. Before being elected to public office, she was the CEO of Crystal Stairs, California’s largest non-profit dedicated to child and family development, and worked as a legislative advocate for the Western Center on Law and Poverty.
As an SDS member, Michael Lee was arrested several times in the fight for Black and Chicano Studies at what is now CSUN. He later was expelled from CSUN for protesting the invasion of Cambodia and the killings at Kent State University and was jailed while a student organizer for the citywide Peace Action Council. A longtime Guild Board Member and twice its chapter president, he worked for many years as a lawyer in the Los Angeles County Public Defender office and was an early faculty member at Peoples College of Law.
Since retiring from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in 1993, Roger Clark has become a nationally recognized authority on policing, custody, investigations and use of force issues. A number of his cases have resulted in significant appellate decisions limiting police misconduct and changing training and policy. His work is held in high regard by members of the National Police Accountability Project, which is a creation of the National Lawyers Guild.
Through its organizing in immigrant and working class communities, Local 11 has transformed hospitality workplaces and the political landscape in Southern California and Arizona. To support this work, the Union has developed, with the participation of many NLG members and law students, a model of creative movement lawyering to build worker power. The award will be accepted by Local 11’s General Counsel, Jeremy Blasi.
Vicki I. Sarmiento is a major figure in Civil Rights Law and one of the few Latinas in private practice in this challenging field. A graduate of Hastings College of Law, she has a solid track record of obtaining a substantial recovery on behalf of victims of police abuse and abuse of those in custody. Her work has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, the Daily Journal, and the Miami Herald, and has spurred important changes in jail segregation policies in both juvenile and adult facilities.