John is a staff attorney at the ACLU of Northern California where he currently focuses on ending the racist criminalization of poverty. Through litigation and policy advocacy with community partners, he works to protect the rights of unhoused people and eliminate fines and fees in the justice system.
John came to the ACLU after eight years of public service with the U.S. Department of Justice, where he litigated complex cases across the country arising out of federal pollution control laws. During that time, he brought multi-million dollar enforcement actions against well-heeled agricultural and mining polluters; defended the regulation of coal power plants, pesticides, and renewable fuels in seven U.S. Courts of Appeals; first-chaired jury and bench trials; and counseled numerous public entities from the Environmental Protection Agency to the Centers for Disease Control.
Before his legal career, John focused on organizing tenants, fair housing, and affordable housing financing. He was a Rappaport Fellow at MassHousing, the development director at the Coalition on Homelessness, and a Jesuit Volunteer at the Justice and Diversity Center of the San Francisco Bar Association.
John earned his law degree, magna cum laude, from Boston College Law School where he was a Public Service Scholar and an editor of the Law Review. Also an alumnus of Brown University, he previously majored in both public policy and religion.
Now based in San Francisco, John is the proud son of Vietnamese refugees who made a home in the Bay Area. Aside from lawyering, he enjoys woodworking, Giants baseball, and appreciating and exploring the reaches of Northern California with his family and friends.