A civil rights attorney and long-time democracy reform advocate, Jonathan became the Executive Director of California Common Cause on May 1, 2020, after 10 years on the California Common Cause Board of Directors and four years as Board Chair. Jonathan previously spent four years as the head of the Voting Rights & Census Program at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, where he worked to increase access to California’s democracy for historically disenfranchised communities, including immigrant and limited-English speaking voters, communities of color, low-income communities, and people with disabilities. His work at AAAJ-ALC included California’s passage of the strongest state-level law in the nation ensuring language access in voting, multiple appellate litigation wins that expanded access to democracy for communities of color, five poll monitoring programs including the nation’s largest in November 2016, and several community organizing campaigns that won better election systems at the local level for historically disenfranchised communities.
Jonathan previously worked as a voting rights staff attorney for the ACLU of California, served as a commissioner and chair of the City of Oakland Public Ethics Commission, and hosted a web video series, produced by UC Berkeley, called “In the Arena.” While receiving his MPP and JD from UC Berkeley, Jonathan served as the Student Regent on the University of California’s Board of Regents, where he fought for access, diversity, and affordability and advocated for the interests of the 230,000 students of the UC system. Prior to graduate school, Jonathan spent four years at Mother Jones magazine as a researcher, assistant editor, blogger, and campaign correspondent during the 2008 presidential elections.