Based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, COWS is a national think-and-do tank that promotes “high road” solutions to social problems. From 2010 to 2016, I worked at COWS as a project assistant. My research and writing spanned a number of projects: indicators of sustainability and resilience in urban food systems; progressive federalism; transportation policy and federal anti-discrimination law; and property-assessed energy efficiency financing, among others. The project I worked on the most was the American Legislative and Issue Campaign Exchange (ALICE), which in 2014 became part of the State Innovation Exchange. For ALICE, colleagues at COWS built a public, online library of progressive law for states and cities. I was responsible for outreach and partnerships with law students and law professors, researching and drafting model law, and curating the contents of the ALICE library. My work at COWS also involved contributing to the Legislation Law Prof Blog.
Recently, I have provided pro bono legal consulting to a political party interested in challenging state laws that ban fusion voting (and make it illegal for a candidate to accept the nomination of multiple parties). Before coming to sociology, I studied law and practiced for a couple years in the area of international human rights. As a fellow at the Harvard Law School International Human Rights Clinic, I helped litigate human rights claims against corporations and government officials. Then I worked for a year with Grupo Semillas, a Colombian nonprofit that advocates for food sovereignty and the interests of indigenous and peasant communities. This confirmed my interest in studying socio-legal issues around land and agriculture. Before coming to Wisconsin, I apprenticed on a farm near Philadelphia, where I picked up a few basic lessons in growing organic vegetables and fixing old tractors.