Hi. My name is Tony, and I’m an attorney with the ArchCity Defenders. I just got off the phone with a client.
Like many of my clients, this woman is poor, black, and a single mother. She spent last night in a municipal jail cell after being arrested during a routine traffic stop. Her car was towed (she doesn’t have the money to get the car out), so she doesn’t know how she’ll get to work today at the relatively well-paying, stable job she started in June. Her daycare help quit last week, so even if she could drive to work today, she has no one to watch her 3 young kids. She’s already missed a couple days recently due to transportation issues and doesn’t know how many more missed days her employer will tolerate. To top it off, she has cuts and bruises from an officer slamming her to the ground when she was already in handcuffs.
We at the ArchCity Defenders see this every day. Our organization is a nonprofit that provides holistic legal services to the poor and homeless of the St. Louis region. Since 2009, we have helped level the playing field between municipal courts and the (mostly) impoverished residents whose fines pay the salaries of court employees and police officers. In the year since Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown, our organization has also been on the front lines calling for fundamental reforms to how we police and administer justice in low-income communities.
This Sunday night, I’ll talk about the ArchCity Defenders’ work on the ground around our city as well as some of the broader issues that have commanded our collective attention since Ferguson. We’ll talk about why and how this region got so broken, how difficult it is for impoverished people to function in our society, and why I am optimistic we could be witnessing some fundamental fixes that could alter the future of our city and region.
Who am I? I, Tony Albrecht, am a part-time lawyer, part-time globetrotter, passionate baked-goods enthusiast, and reluctant stream-of-thought poet. I spend some of my time working as a contract attorney with the ArchCity Defenders, a legal nonprofit in St. Louis. I spend all of my time left-handed.
Sunday 16 August 2015
Potluck dinner begins at 6 pm
Tony begins sharing at 6:45
At the home of Jim and Diana Oleskevich
4026 Magnolia Place (not Magnolia Avenue)