State Director, California
Jeannette Zanipatin is the California State Director for the Drug Policy Policy Alliance where she focuses on criminal justice reform, drug policy, harm reduction and the intersection between criminal law and immigration law. At DPA, Jeannette has been successful in increasing support for critical measures in harm reduction including support for safe consumption sites, syringe exchange programs, and developing policies to implement criminal justice reforms at the state and local level.
Prior to DPA, she worked as a Staff Attorney for MALDEF, (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) working on a wide range of legislation such as ICE/Police Collaboration (CA Values Act, TRUTH Act, and the TRUST Act), labor protections for non-citizens (Document Abuse, Personal Injury and Wrongful Death suits), and expanding access to higher education for undocumented students. Additionally, Ms. Zanipatin is a highly experienced immigration lawyer, working in Seattle and San Francisco as a deportation defense attorney and managing a detention project where she provided Know your Rights presentations, directly representing immigrants in ICE detention and created a Pro Bono project mentoring attorneys to represent immigrants in detention.
She is a graduate of UC Berkeley and Seattle University School of Law, and licensed to practice in Washington and California. Jeannette recently won the Advocacy Award in 2020, from UC Berkeley’s Alumni Association for her litigation and legislative work. She also currently serves as the Board Chair for CA Latinas for Reproductive Justice and as incoming Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Episcopal School of Los Angeles, an independent school, whose mission is grounded in social justice. She splits her time in the Bay Area and Los Angeles with her husband, Vladimir, two daughters Mikaela and Danilka, and her dog Miski.