Jericho brings together diverse interests together through two organizations:
JERICHO: A Voice for Justice and
Through A Voice for Justice focused advocacy at the state capitol actively engages the legislators and the Governor in developing legislation that ensures economic justice. In local Senate and Assembly districts, Jericho's membership keeps legislators informed of their concerns for those living in poverty.
Education for Justice informs its membership on California's public policy issues through seminars, workshops and publications; trains its members with the necessary advocacy skills to work in the public policy arena; and views its educational activities as a springboard for action on key issues of economic and social justice.
JERICHO was founded in 1987 by Sister Sheila Walsh under the sponsorship of the Sisters of Social Service. JERICHO's purpose has been to protect the interests of poor people in California by equipping concerned citizens with advocacy tools for systemic change. From its beginning, JERICHO has provided focused advocacy at the state capitol and in legislative districts to effect structural change in public policies that affect those living in poverty.
Recognized for its effective work by a bi-partisan host of legislators, JERICHO is the only statewide, interfaith, non-partisan, grassroots public policy organization in California founded specifically to educate and advocate on behalf of low-income individuals and families. It has been a collaborative force from its beginning-offering people of conscience an opportunity to ensure fairness in state legislation.
Judith L. Larson is Jericho's current Executive Director.
Judith L. Larson, in 1983, was a founder of the first woman-owned and operated lobbying firm in Sacramento. Prior to starting her own firm, Ms. Larson was employed as an administrator and lobbyist with the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Ms. Larson received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Southern California in journalism and pursued graduate studies in public administration, school business administration and industrial relations. She was employed in private industry and government before joining the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Ms. Larson was a member of the Program Council which developed the master's degree program in governmental relations at the University of Southern California School of Public Administration and has been a frequent lecturer and workshop leader in the field of advocacy for universities and other educational institutions.
As a lobbyist, Ms. Larson has been involved in all aspects of education, serving as a resource person and liaison among legislators, staff, state departments and school and college administrators in her areas of expertise.
Ms.Larson was the original convener of the Tuesday Night Group, an alliance of education advocates (management and labor) in Sacramento and served for seven years as its chair person.
She was a member and treasurer of California-DC; an Education Alliance bridging California state to federal education interests.
She has been the recipient of numerous awards for outstanding service to a variety of organizations. She has been a member of the executive board of the National Committee on Adequate School Housing (NCASH), served on the steering committee of Sacramentans Against the Voucher Initiative (SAVI), and maintains active membership in California Women Lead. Ms. Larson has served on the board of directors of the Capital Network; the Sacramento Region of the National Kidney Foundation; Sacramento SPCA; the American River College Foundation; and was a two-term president of the Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary. She recently resigned as a member of the board of directors of the Sacramento Opera Association to become executive director of JERICHO, A Voice for Justice. She received recognition from the California Women's Legislative Summit as a "Trailblazer" in the field of advocacy for women.
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