Areas of Expertise & Civic Involvements
Gerken teaches and writes about election law and constitutional law. Her election law work focuses on how best to get election reform passed. Her constitutional law work emphasizes the importance of local governance to racial minorities, dissenters, and a vibrant democracy. Gerken has served as a Senior Adviser and member of the National Election Protection Team to the Obama campaigns in 2007-2008 and 2011-2012. She drafted a proposal for creating a “Democracy Index” which has been incorporated into three separate bills (sponsored by Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and Representative Israel) and adopted by Mayor Bloomberg of New York City. She is Co-Founder and Adviser to the San Francisco Affirmative Litigation Project at Yale Law School, which has become a national model and helped focus attention on local government work as a source for change. She is a Trustee of the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan group dedicated to election reform. Finally, Gerken is a member of the Connecticut Elections Performance Task Force; of the State Election Website Assessment project; of the Center on Law and Redistricting’s Board of Supervisors; and of the ABA Redistricting Task Force, charged with recommending best practices for redistricting.
Professor Gerken blogs and conducts television and radio interviews regularly. She has served as a commentator on legal controversies for a number of media outlets, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, the L.A. Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Boston Globe, NPR, the Lehrer NewsHour, Dan Rather Reports, CNN, MSNBC, The Rachel Maddow Show, and NBC News with Tom Brokaw. These contributions include:
Talks and Briefings
Prof. Gerken routinely gives talks to a variety of public audiences. One such briefing is the following: