Eunisses Hernandez is a policy advocate and campaign strategist with nearly a decade of experience in working with communities most devastated by criminalization, the war on drugs, and mass incarceration.
Executive Director and Co-Founder, La Defensa
Eunisses Hernandez is the Executive Director of La Defensa. A native of Los Angeles, she is a policy advocate and campaign strategist with nearly a decade of experience in working with communities most devastated by criminalization, the war on drugs, and mass incarceration. Eunisses has been a leader in helping develop and implement sentencing reforms. Her efforts have led to the repeal and reform of frequently-used sentence enhancements in California. Most recently, she has been a leader within JusticeLA, a coalition that was successful in stopping Los Angeles County’s $3.5 billion jail plan. She has extensive experience in developing alternatives to incarceration and advancing successful budget advocacy campaigns. Most recently, she co-chaired the successful Measure J, a historic ballot initiative that will move millions of locally generated tax revenue into community reinvestment and alternatives to incarceration. Currently, she sits as the Chair of the Los Angeles Gender Responsive Advisory Committee and as a voting member of the Los Angeles County Measure J Advisory Committee. Eunisses is an alumnus of the Women’s Policy Institute Local Government and State Policy fellowship programs, and currently sits on the Board of the Women’s Foundation of California. In 2017, she was named one of the 40 Under 40 Emerging Civic Leaders by the Empowerment Congress and the Office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas. She holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice from California State University, Long Beach and currently resides in Los Angeles.