The UCLA Latino Policy & Politics Initiative utilizes a multi-pronged approach to ensure Latinos and other communities of color have a seat at the decision-making table and fair opportunities to thrive.
UCLA LPPI is committed to working with leading experts, advocates and elected officials to address today’s most pressing issues. We are committed to championing evidence-based policy solutions that expand genuine opportunity for all Americans by shining a spotlight on how Latinos are and are not included in policy-making.
The UCLA Voting Rights Project is the flagship project of the UCLA Latino Policy & Politics Initiative aimed at creating an accessible and equitable system of voting for all Americans through impact litigation, research, and clinical education to expand access to the ballot box.
Managing Attorney and Voting Rights Counsel, UCLA Voting Rights Project
Sonni Waknin is the Program Manager of the UCLA Voting Rights Project and Voting Rights Counsel. Sonni believes that to ensure an equitable democracy, elections must be free, fair, and devoid of systemic racism. Voting is the right that preserves all other rights and must be defended. Waknin is responsible for managing all aspects of the Voting Rights Project, including the Project’s fellowship program and legal scholarship. She is currently counsel on Soto Palmer et al. v. Hobbs et al. and Portugal et al. v. Franklin County et al. She also recently defended the constitutionality of the Washington Voting Rights Act from a legal challenge. Waknin has wanted to be a voting rights litigator since she was in high school.
Previously, Waknin interned with the ACLU Voting Rights Project and for Common Cause’s National Redistricting Project. She holds her J.D. from UCLA School of Law, is an alumna of the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy, and holds a B.A. from Rutgers University.