Justine Esta Ellis F'21

Justine Esta Ellis

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)

Leading Edge Fellowships 2021
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
Appointed to CREW for the project "Advocating for Ethics and Money-in-Politics Reform Using Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic"
PhD, Theology, University of Oxford

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) uses aggressive legal action, in-depth research, and bold communications to reduce the influence of money in politics and help foster a government that is ethical and accountable. The Watergate scandal led to a number of reforms to the American system of governance that shaped today’s campaign finance and government ethics systems. The COVID-19 pandemic has already reverberated through many parts of the system, and its intersection with the ethics crisis in our executive branch and the country’s renewed focus on systemic racism may trigger a similarly, if not more, transformative reform moment in the near future. To prepare for and shape that reform moment, advocates for effective ethics rules and equitable participation in American democracy must connect with these larger trends. The Leading Edge Fellow at CREW will be a principal contributor to this effort, and will lead a project to effectively tell the stories that teach these lessons. To carry out this project, the fellow will work in partnership with CREW’s broad coalitions, which include labor, racial justice, faith, women’s rights, environmental, good government, and other important communities.