Jenice develops, implements and advises on communications strategies to support ITEP’s mission to secure sustainable, progressive tax policies at the local, state and federal levels. She joined ITEP in 2014 and draws on years of experience working on anti-poverty and social justice issues to inform her occasional writings on the link between tax policy and economic inequality.
She has wide-ranging experience in strategic communications and media relations, including serving as the national media director for Service Employees International Union (SEIU), building and implementing a strategic communications program from the ground up at CLASP (an anti-poverty policy group), and leading media relations at the National Women’s Law Center, where she used her media outreach, communications and writing skills to elevate the center’s legal, campaign and policy work.
She has a master of science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Media, and a bachelor’s from Alabama State University. She is a proud but disenfranchised Washingtonian who pays her federal income taxes. The irony of working on issues of tax fairness while being taxed without representation is not lost on her.jenice at itep.org
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The deck is stacked against those who have the least, and ongoing racism makes it even more difficult for people of color to avoid punitive systems that are intentionally structured to extract what, for poor people, can be usurious penalties. The nation collectively shrugs about such injustices because they are either invisible or we chalk up entanglements in any legal morass to personal behavior. But the truth is that, indirectly, we are all part of the fines-and-fees matrix that entraps poor people in debt or keeps them tethered to the criminal justice system. None of us should look away.
Since last year, multiple states across the country have proposed or are pursuing costly income and other tax cuts that are heavily tilted toward the highest-income households. State advocates have worked to beat back these proposals and sounded the alarm about the long-term consequences of tax cuts, but legislatures (most GOP-led) continue to introduce and approve top-heavy and permanent tax cuts. This state tax-cut fervor took center stage last night when Gov. Kim Reynolds of Iowa gave the Republican response to President Biden's SOTU address.