Inside a National Initiative to Help Wipe Past Convictions “Clean”
The initiative, which was inspired by the successful 2018 campaign to pass the nation’s first Clean Slate law in Pennsylvania, now has a national steering committee that includes the Center for American Progress, R Street and Code for America.
The organization has also attracted big-name funders, including Arnold Ventures, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. In 2019 alone, they committed $30 million to the effort. The New Venture Fund is acting as the initiative’s fiduciary.
Sheena Meade was the first person hired by the initiative. She helped restore voting rights to more than 1.4 million Florida residents with 2018’s Amendment 4, and has since worked for Galaxy Gives as its criminal justice program officer. She now serves as Clean Slate’s managing director.
Meade told Blue Tent that the initiative plans to hire two more campaign managers to lead and provide strategic guidance to organizations in the field. Jesse Kelley, formerly the government affairs manager and criminal justice and civil liberties manager at the R Street Institute, joined the Clean Slate Initiative as a campaign manager this month.