Our Annual Testimonial Dinner will be Saturday, April 29, 2016, 6 p.m. at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. We will honor our Champions of Justice Carpenter & Mayfield Law Office and Peter Franck Unsung Hero Carlos Villarreal, and Partners in Liberation Bay Area Anti-Repression Committee (ARC).
Registration includes food, wine, beer, and merriment with hundreds of progressive/radical NLG members and friends. Please register by March 30th.
Champions of Justice
Carpenter & Mayfield, a National Lawyers Guild Law Firm
Dan Mayfield and Constance Carpenter met at NLG-NEC meetings in 1978-1979 when Dan was a National Staff member and Constance was the Far(out) West Regional Vice President. Dan moved to California after falling in love with San Jose and Rita Swencionis, who had been the Santa Clara County NLG Office Staff person. Constance and Dan opened their office in 1982; the office opening announcement included the Preamble to the Guild Constitution, and they have continued to present the firm as a Guild Law Office for 34 years.
Jeff Lake joined the firm in 1984, Carlos Gonzales has worked with the firm as a Private Investigator for 30 years, and Michelle Phillips as the legal assistant for 8 years. Constance, Dan and Jeff have been active in Guild work, serving as Regional VP on the NEC, various Guild Legal Defense Committees and officers in the Anti-Sexism Committee and Military Law Task Force. The attorneys have been mentors for South Bay Guild Law Students, and present regularly at Guild programs, workshops and national conventions. Jeff and Constance were part of a Guild Delegation at the IADL Conference in Cuba, and Dan on a Guild Delegation to Cuba in 1979 and Venezuela in 2006. Firm members have been a NLG presence in many South Bay organizations, including San Jose Peace and Justice Center, Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, Santa Clara County Pro-Choice Coalition, and Santa Clara County Bar Association.
In their spare time, the firm practices family law, juvenile law, and criminal defense. They have received numerous awards and recognitions from the local and state bar associations, CAIR, LACY, Pro Bono Project Silicon Valley and other community organizations.
Ann Ginger brought Peter Franck into the guild in 1957. He was an undergrad at UC Berkeley and active in SLATE. By 1963, he was on the Board leading the struggle to define the Guild as an “activist lawyers organization” and not merely a “Bar Association.”
Peter was active in the 1960s in Guild causes. As the attorney for the Vietnam Day Committee, Peter obtained an injunction requiring Oakland to permit a march through the city to the Oakland Army Base. He was also instrumental in establishing the Council for Justice (CFJ) to coordinate legal defense for farm workers and anti-war activists, providing Guild lawyers in Delano for the United Farm Workers and for the anti-war demonstrators at the Port Chicago Naval Munitions Base. Throughout this time he practiced draft law. As the war waned, Peter transitioned to entertainment law, representing some of the anti-war bands he met through his activism, notably Country Joe and the Fish and Joy of Cooking.
From 1973 through 1984, he was active at KPFA and the Pacifica Foundation, serving as Foundation President from 1980-1984. In 1985, he joined the board of San Francisco based Media Alliance.
In 1992-1993 Peter served on the national board and as treasurer of the Guild. He pioneered Guild work in the area of First Amendment and media monopoly helping form the Committee on Democratic Communications (CDC). In 1989, CDC took up the issue of the FCC’s ban on low-power radio (aka Pirate radio), arguing that the ban was a violation of the First Amendment and international law and helped shape the FCC regulations that legalized low-power FM. Peter was a founding member of the Alameda Community Radio and currently serves as Chairman of its Board.
Peter returned to serve on the Executive Board of the San Francisco Guild Chapter from 2011 through 2014, providing guidance and support to a new generation of Guild leaders.
Unsung Hero Carlos Villarreal
Carlos Villarreal was a guild activist in Texas before becoming the Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild Bay Area Chapter. He served in that position for 12 years before leaving in July 2016 to take a job with the City of San Francisco. During his tenure the NLG diversified in numerous ways. The United People of Color Caucus (TUPOCC) grew the membership to include more people of color, more queer people and radical ideas about international solidarity, prisons, immigrant rights work, and food justice. Carlos personally trained hundreds of legal observers and steered the guild to remain at the center of the growing movement for police accountability.** “I feel incredibly lucky to have stumbled upon the opportunity of working for the NLG”. ** The NLGSF was lucky that he stumbled our way and feels the absence of his leadership.
Partners in Liberation Anti-Repression Committee (ARC)
Originally formed to support Occupy Oakland actions, the Bay Area Anti-Repression Committee (ARC) stands against political repression and is in solidarity with all those who challenge the state, capitalism and other forms of systemic oppression and domination. We provide support for actions that are anti-patriarchal, anti-racist, anti-imperialist & anti-capitalist. Our support work comes primarily in the form of education, information and referrals. We also manage an anti-repression bail fund for those that do not have the resources to bail or bond themselves. We are a first resort for education and information on solidarity and a last resort for financial support.
The dinner Journal will be distribute to hundreds of attendees at the 2017 Testimonial Dinner. It becomes a part of Guild history, and a part of the honorees' keepsakes.