No. 71: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Illustration by Chris Shary

71: Anne Irwin 

Anne Irwin is the Director of San Francisco-based Smart Justice California, which “works to elect and educate state and local policymakers who champion smart, meaningful criminal justice reforms.”  The group launched in 2017, and since then has notched significant victories: helping elect reformist District Attorneys Chesa Boudin and George Gascón in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and supporting then-state Sen. Holly Mitchell’s run for L.A. County Board of Supervisors. Winning fights like those doesn’t come cheap, and Irwin’s activist board is stacked with deep-pocketed reformers including Patty Quillin, wife of Netflix billionaire Reed Hastings.  Directing those dollars is a key part of Irwin’s job, and she is advised by longtime Democratic Party stalwart Shawnda Westly, who is no stranger to this list herself. Irwin has criminal justice reform in her blood: Her father did time in Soledad for armed robbery, reformed himself, and became a prominent criminologist and author; Her mother is director emeritus of the San Francisco office of the Drug Policy Alliance.

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