John is a Senior Staff Attorney for the Racial & Economic Justice Program at the ACLU of Northern California where he strives to prevent the push out of communities of color and low-income people. Through litigation and policy advocacy with community partners, he focuses on protecting the rights of people without shelter or housing, eliminating onerous fines and fees in the justice system, and combating biased code and law enforcement.
Prior to joining the ACLU, John litigated complex cases across the country at the U.S. Department of Justice and counseled numerous public entities like the Environmental Protection Agency, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Army Corps of Engineers. In his nine years of public service, 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; and first-chaired jury and bench trials in California.
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 acquired 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 received an undergraduate degree in 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 the reaches of Northern California with his family and friends