Our Story

The COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project was founded in April 2020 to respond to urgent questions about housing, homelessness and community recovery during the spread of the coronavirus. We are working to pair volunteer lawyers with tenants who need advice or legal representation, provide tenants with guidance on how to navigate challenging situations and evaluate the potential impact of the emerging housing crisis. Our mission is to Keep Coloradans Housed by helping to prevent mass evictions and homelessness during and after the pandemic. 

Our Team

Zach Neumann

Founder

Zach is a lawyer whose practice focuses on landlord-tenant, debt collection, and wage dispute cases. He is also a public policy lecturer at CU Denver’s School of Public Affairs and writes about jobs and economic issues at the Aspen Institute. He previously helped to launch social enterprise start-ups CareerWise Colorado and Tortgua AgTech. Before that he worked at McKinsey & Company, the World Bank, and on various Democratic political campaigns.

Sam Gilman

Co-Founder

Sam works at the intersection of law, policy, and data. Sam was previously Sr. Manager of Strategy and Special Projects at Guild Education. Before that, he worked at McKinsey and was co-founder and CEO of a political advocacy group called Common Sense Action. He is also a JD/MPP student at Harvard University where he is policy director and a student attorney with the Harvard Tenant Advocacy Project.

Javier Mabrey

Attorney & Political Lead

Javier is a practicing attorney in Denver. He graduated from the University of California Berkeley School of Law in 2019. In law school, Javier worked for three years at the East Bay Community Law Center’s Housing Unit. Before that Javier worked as an organizer on political campaigns including Barack Obama’s reelection campaign.

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Carey Degenaro

Litigation Lead

Carey leads all lawyer training and attorney recruitment. She also runs the process of matching attorneys with tenants in need of legal assistance.  She has served as a law clerk on the 10th Circuit and the Colorado Supreme Court. She has also served as an editor of the University of Colorado Law Review.

Jacqueline Woo

Data & Policy

Jacqueline’s interests lie in using policy research and data analysis to advocate for improved housing, economic security, and justice systems for underserved populations. She has most recently worked on these issues with Colorado State Representative Leslie Herod, the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, and Citi Community Capital in Los Angeles. Jacqueline worked in pricing and big data analytics in the private sector prior to transitioning to policy and non-profit work. She received an M.P.A from Columbia University.

Emily Gittleman

Digital Organizing Director

Emily comes from the world of political campaigns, where she has built and run digital programs for more than 20 campaigns. Most recently, she was running ad programs at Priorities USA to elect Joe Biden president. Prior to that, she served as the Deputy Online Mobilization Director on Cory Booker’s presidential campaign. Emily is excited to join the CEDP team and help build their online presence and digital infrastructure.

Marco Dorado

Senior Advisor

Marco is also a fellow with the National Development Council. He’s a recent MPA Graduate of the Evans School at the University of Washington, with a focus on social and housing policy. Before enrolling at UW, Marco was the Denver Director of the Urban Leaders Fellowship and Manager of Business Operations at the University of Denver’s Latino Leadership Institute. Marco is also a national advocate for DREAMers.

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Roger Low

Senior Advisor

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Melissa Mejía

Senior Advisor

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Burton A. Nadler

Senior Advisor

Burt is a Senior Attorney and Senior Advisor with CEDP. He has over 40 years of experience as an attorney, specializing in election law, housing law, civil rights law, nonprofit law. Before joining CEDP, Burt was an educator, Founder & Partner at Petrucelly & Nadler, P.C., and a  Legal Services Attorney. Burt has also been a history teacher, baseball coach, and political activist. 

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Victoria Suarez-Palomo

Senior Advisor

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Hannah Rubashkin

Staff Attorney

Hannah is a volunteer intake attorney for CEDP. She is a 2019 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, where she staffed the Detroit Step Forward project and helped Detroit homeowners obtain assistance to pay their past due property taxes. After graduating, she served as a law clerk for Justice Richard L. Gabriel on the Colorado Supreme Court during the 2019-2020 term.

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Owen Davis

Volunteer Attorney

Owen is an attorney in Denver, having recently completed clerkships at the Colorado Court of Appeals and the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. He graduated from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 2018. In law school, he worked for a public interest law firm in Washington, D.C., Hilary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016, and the Colorado Attorney General’s Office on consumer protection matters. With CEDP, he provides legal research and analysis in support of the Project’s ongoing cases and legislative efforts to protect tenants’ rights.

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Kristen Davis

Digital Communications

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